Rupert Murdoch under oath

Rupert Murdoch Rupert Murdoch appears at the Leveson Inquiry the day after his son James

The interrogation of Rupert Murdoch at the Leveson Inquiry, for more than a day, is a historic event.

Never has the 81-year-old, still regarded as among the most powerful media moguls in the world, been questioned so extensively, in public and under oath.

If yesterday's session with his son, James Murdoch, is anything to go by, there will be at least three broad areas of examination.

He'll be asked about his long and deep relationship with politicians - and whether he sought and bought commercial advantage by offering the support of his newspapers, especially the Sun, to the Tories and to Labour.

What he ends up saying will be awaited with some trepidation by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

Second, it would be odd if he was not asked whether he feels personally responsible for creating a culture at his British newspapers, especially the News of the World and the Sun, at which malpractices were allegedly rife.

His relationship with the former News Corporation executive in charge of the newspapers in many of the latter years, Les Hinton, is bound to be put under the spotlight.

Finally - and to repeat the big question put to his son, James Murdoch - because details of phone hacking and alleged bribing by his British journalists at News International didn't emerge until years after this had happened, was there a giant cover-up or a catastrophic governance failure at his organisation?

James Murdoch, when asked by Robert Jay QC for the inquiry, said there was neither cover-up or governance failure. But it was not very clear what the third explanation might be.

Robert Peston Article written by Robert Peston Robert Peston Economics editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    After his son's putting the boot into Hunt, and with Murdoch obviously feeling aggrieved at the UK government, I'm looking forward to the likes of Blair, Brown and Cameron being hung out to dry.

    I hope he sits merrily opening all kinds of cans of worms, and what he says goes down like a cup of cold sick for the last decades worth of politicians.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    The economy slips into recession and the topic chosen is about something that has not happened yet, it will be interesting what he says when he has said it.

    You are providing ammunition to those that think your objectivity in this matter is suspect as these are not business issues any longer, they are pure politics or is Nick off and you fancy a change of brief?

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    "But it was not very clear what the third explanation might be."

    Could it be that the old boy is actually relishing the prospect of this being an ideal opportunity to disclose what has been going on for years with politicians of all complexions. The chance to show the world what a bunch of self serving money grabbing duplicitous scum these people actually are.
    If so go for it Rupe.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.


    Please get back to what really matters.

    The Economy

    We are experiencing the dreaded double dip or 'L' shaped (non) recovery.

    The commentators MUST now except the irrefutable evidence the we are in a Depression (lust like the 1870s).

    Rupert must be swept away and really important things examined.

    Money MUST be prudentially priced IMMEDIATELY or the Depression will last even longer!

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    Yes what was the third explanation - negligence? Cant wait for further revelation about this Laurel and Hardy government and with the recession returns and PMQ's it is not a day to be too far from the TV and PC.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    What I said was: do no prejudge the father on the evidence from the son! Apparently this is not allowed!

    I also added some historic context on the position of the father with regard to the UK and its institutions - apparently stating history is not allowed either!

    Ah well, let us all hope that the country can rid itself of this ogre once and for all and regain our independence from' The Sun'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Rupert Murdoch and Robert Mugabe are the two seemingly indestructible lumps in political life. I once heard someone say Rupert Murdoch had done more to vulgarise this country than anybody else, and it sounded right. He has huge financial ability, a low estimate of humanity, a positive dislike of much that is British, and does not care what you say about him. This exposure is our Arab Spring.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    3. doesitreallymatter
    " in the real world cares..."

    What no one in the real world cares about is, the gossip,tittle tattle & downright misinformation this man has peddled as 'news' for the last 40+ years through incessant intrusion into people's lives.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    > James Murdoch,said there was neither cover-up or
    > governance failure. But it was not very clear what
    > the third explanation might be.

    If governance worked, then he must have known about the dirty digging. Yet he said he didn't, which means he was covering up. And if he didn't notice the dirty digging, then there was governance failure because he should have known.

    He's in denial.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    After the MP's expenses issue, this is an another hit for the politics.

    Reflecting on what has happened, I respect more and more Cable's opinion about Sky and fear that the new Tories are not any different from the old Tories.

    Hunt should resign and Cameron should provide the justification for his actions. The whole situation is a total disgrace.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    The way the press can make or break gives it too much power and influence over many groups and notably politicians and the police. The Sun sees itself as having the power to crown a Government. This is something we should all be scared of, and the Murdoch family appears to be operating with a malign intention. The press need to be overseen in some way, but its freedom needs to be protected.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Many years ago, one late December morning, young Robert Peston ran down the stairs to find, under the tree, an eagerly awaited present. With trembling fingers ripping off the brightly coloured wrapping, gold and silver ribbons, he could barely contain his excitement as the gift he'd waited for was revealed -no, not Action Man, but the latest, must have Rupert Murdoch at the Levison Enquiry game.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    This subject is so boring. Its a political question not business. It is also the past. Only a politically biased editor would concentrate on it.

    Robert, no-one in the real world cares.

    Please cover today's business, not yesterday's.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    So, during Ruperts interrogation will he be wearing an orange jump suit and be waterboarded ?

    No !

    So it's more of a gentle question and answer session between the rich and powerful.

    Expect lots of 'I can't recall' and 'I don't remember'

    I'm not expecting a bombshell from Rupe.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Finally, one of the leaders of our nation will be asked some probing questions!

    If this were a democracy, it might count for something.


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