Rupert Murdoch - Sentenced?
- 1 May 2012
- From the section UK Politics
One sentence in an 84 page report has grabbed the headlines.
It was one sentence which split a Commons committee on party lines.
And one sentence which overshadowed the rest of a damning report which Conservative MPs on the committee claim would otherwise have been backed unanimously.
So, what will be the impact of that declaration that Rupert Murdoch is not "a fit person" to run a major international corporation?
Its author Tom Watson, the Labour MP and scourge of the Murdochs, will hope that it will unnerve shareholders in News Corporation and may persuade them to demand change at the top of the company.
Some suspect that he wanted to trap the Conservatives into appearing to back Murdoch and note that his party leader, Ed Miliband, is presenting himself as the man who stands up "against interests - no matter how rich and powerful they are".
Mr Watson insists that his sole motive was to ensure that the boss of News Corp did not escape censure whilst three News of the World executives were sanctioned for giving misleading evidence to a Commons committee.
His decision and that of the four other Labour MPs and one Liberal Democrat on the committee who backed him have upped the stakes. The questions is whether by forcing a divide on party lines - something which Select Committees try to avoid - they have lessened the impact of today's report.