10 July 2011 07:44 ET
Labour leader Ed Miliband says he will force a Commons vote to delay News Corporation’s proposed takeover of BSkyB, until the investigation into the News of the World is completed.
The last edition of the newpaper has been published, with a full-page apology for hacking mobile phones.
News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch has arrived in the UK to take charge of the handling of the scandal.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said he was “concerned” by the BSkyB deal.
Mr Miliband urged Mr Murdoch to take action and sack executive Rebekah Brooks.
Mrs Brooks – a former News of the World editor and now chief executive of News International – has been under pressure over staying in her role while journalists on the paper have lost their jobs.
Mr Murdoch immediately went to News International’s head office at Wapping in east London after flying into the country.
Mr Miliband denied he had “declared war on Rupert Murdoch” but also called on him to abandon the BSkyB bid.
In its final editorial the paper says: “Quite simply, we lost our way”.
Publisher News International axed the 168-year-old tabloid in the wake of phone-hacking allegations last week.
Campaigners, including actor Hugh Grant, have claimed the closure of the paper was a cynical move designed to protect the BSkyB takeover.
Mr Miliband said the takeover should be referred to the Competition Commission rather than “relying on assurances from News International”.
He said he did not want to force a vote in the Commons but David Cameron had left him no option.
“He has got to understand that when the public have seen the disgusting revelations that we have seen this week, the idea that this organisation, which engaged in these terrible practices, should be allowed to take over BSkyB, to get that 100% stake, without the criminal investigation having been completed and on the basis of assurances from that self-same organisation – frankly that just won’t wash with the public,” he told BBC1’s Andrew Marr programme.
Mr Hammond told Sky News: “I understand people would be very concerned [if the BSkyB takeover went through while criminal investigations were ongoing] and I think many of us would be very concerned.
Rupert Murdoch arrives at Wapping to take charge of the crisis
“But we have to operate within the law. If the motion is calling on the government to ignore its duties under the law, simply to ride roughshod over the law, then I’m afraid that would be calling on us to be in no better position than others are currently being accused of,” he added.
The Labour leader also denied there were similarities between former NoW editor Andy Coulson, who went on to work for the Conservatives, and his own director of strategy Tom Baldwin.
Mr Coulson resigned as the prime minister’s spokesman in January saying ongoing hacking claims were distracting him from his job. He denies knowledge of phone hacking during his NoW editorship from 2003-07.
Earlier Andrew Marr asked Mr Miliband allegations which had been made by Michael Ashcroft, a former deputy Conservative chairman and major donor, that Mr Baldwin, a former journalist at The Times, had recruited a private investigator to hack into Mr Ashcroft’s bank account.
When this outrage has been atoned, we hope history will eventually judge us on all our years”
News of the World
Mr Miliband said the claims were not true, Mr Baldwin had denied it and it did not bear comparison with Mr Coulson’s situation.
He added: “I have to say that this is pretty desperate stuff because the prime minister must answer the real questions at the heart of this affair – about his error of judgment in hiring Andy Coulson and the mounting evidence there now is about the warnings that were given to him before he brought Andy Coulson into the heart of the government machine.”
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, a Liberal Democrat, did not rule out voting for the motion in the Commons but said he would have to study the wording.
He said: “There are two separate processes here – one is that Ofcom can at any time investigate whether the people running one of our broadcast organisations are fit and proper people – and that’s not associated with the question of clearing the merger.
“I believe we should have a personal assurance from Rupert Murdoch that these illegal practices were confined to the News of the World.”
The print run was doubled for the final edition with many extra readers expected to buy it as a souvenir
Meanwhile Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner John Yates has expressed “extreme regret” for not reopening the phone hacking investigation two years ago.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he said he regretted the way he had handled it after reviewing the initial police investigation which led to the conviction of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in 2007.
Mr Yates said he did not re-examine the 11,000 pages of material recovered from Mulcaire’s home but spent eight hours considering the matter, and consulted the Crown Prosecution Service, but decided there was no likelihood of further convictions.
Yates ‘will not resign’
He said the decision now seemed a “pretty crap one”.
Mr Yates admitted the Metropolitan Police’s reputation had been tarnished by the scandal but said he had no intention of resigning.
Around 200 people will lose their jobs with the closure of the NoW
During a short speech to more than 200 staff outside the paper’s offices in Wapping, east London, late on Saturday night editor Colin Myler held up the 8,674th and final edition of the Sunday newspaper, saying: “This is not where we want to be and not where we deserve to be.”
The NoW has doubled Sunday’s print run to five million, with money from the sales being donated to four charities.
Alan Edwards, one of the NoW journalists who has now lost his job, told the BBC it had been a “terribly emotional” final day on the paper, working on a “momentous edition”.
He said: “We wanted to leave with our heads held high. Whatever went on years ago was nothing to do with those of us who left yesterday.”
The family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, whose phone was allegedly hacked after her abduction in 2002, is to meet Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on Monday to discuss the independent inquiries related to the phone hacking scandal, and will also meet Prime Minister David Cameron.
In a letter to MPs released on Saturday, Mrs Brooks denied all knowledge of alleged hacking of the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler or any other case while she was editor.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
5 4 54
his primary challenge (EM) and how he obtains his heart’s desire (ED) both = 54 = Inquiry. Asking questions. Things are not as they appear.
what he must do/has to do = EN = 55 = Insight. Clarity. Brilliance. Reading & writing. Mindfulness. Philosophy. Brainstorming. Cogitate. Words. Seeing things clearly.
Edward Samuel Miliband was born on December 24th, 1969 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Miliband
December 24th, 1969
12 + 24 +2+0+1+0 = 39 = his personal year (from December 24th, 2010 to December 23rd, 2011) = Offers. Proposals. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The story is only half told when only one side tells it.
39 year + 6 (June) = 45 = his personal month (from June 24th, 2011 to July 23rd, 2011) = Investigation.
45 month + 9 (9th of the month on Saturday July 9th, 2011) = 54 = his personal day = Inquiry. Asking questions. Things are not as they appear.
[When his number (54 (his primary challenge and how he obtains his heart’s desire)) comes up, that’s when he gets to live/experience what he is here to live/experience. So today was HIS day!!!]
45 month + 10 (10th of the month on Sunday July 10th, 2011) = 55 = his personal day = Insight. Clarity. Brilliance. Reading & writing. Mindfulness. Philosophy. Brainstorming. Cogitate. Words. Seeing things clearly.
[When his number (55 (what he must do/has to do)) comes up, that’s when he gets to live/experience what he is here to live/experience. So today was HIS day!!!]
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