Murdoch not fit person to own major company:UK MPs

London: In a damning report, a key parliamentary committee in the UK today concluded that media baron Rupert Murdoch misled Parliament and was "not a fit person" to exercise the stewardship of a major international company in the wake of the phone-hacking controversy.

The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee that investigated the issue at length and heard evidence from Rupert Murdoch, 81, and his son James Murdoch last year, came out with severe criticism of Murdoch and his company.

Tom Watson, a member of the committee, said the two Murdochs misled parliament through their deposition before the committee, and reiterated the committee`s conclusion that Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person" to be at the helm of a major international company.

The committee`s conclusion is expected to contribute to the ongoing inquiry by regulator Ofcom on the issue whether Murdoch`s BSkyB is a `fit and proper` organisation to hold a broadcasting licence in Britain.

The committee said: "On the basis of the facts and evidence before the Committee, we conclude that, if at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone-hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications".

"This culture, we consider, permeated from the top throughout the organisation and speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International. We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company," it added.

In its 125-page report, the committee said: "The notion that?given all that had gone on, right back to evidence given over payments to the police to our predecessor Committee in 2003?a hands-on proprietor like Rupert Murdoch had no inkling that wrongdoing and questionable practice was not widespread at the News of the World is simply not credible".

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