James Murdoch has quit as director of The Sun and the London Times newspapers, the Evening Standard reports:
Companies House filings show James Murdoch has stepped down from the boards of both News Group Newspapers Limited, publisher of The Sun, and Times Newspapers Limited, which operates The Times and Sunday Times.
NGN used to operate the News of the World and remains embroiled in legal action over phone-hacking.
The departures come as James Murdoch also faces calls to quit as chairman of BSkyB at next week’s annual general meeting. His decision means no member of the Murdoch family now sits on the boards of the flagship UK papers.Rupert Murdoch used to be a director of NGN and TNL but stepped down after his son took over as NI executive chairman in 2007. James Murdoch has also quit at least one other subsidiary, News International Holdings.
Murdoch’s decision to quit is possibly one of damage limitation over the recent News of the World ‘phone hacking scandal.
The Evening Standard quotes Claire Enders, founder of Enders Analysis, who said:
“Because it is inescapable that there will be some kind of censure from the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, it is inevitable that people will say maybe you’ve got too much on your plate, it makes sense to step back from some of the roles.” But Enders said Murdoch still faces intense pressure as the police investigate hacking at the News of the World.
“He can step down from all these positions but he won’t stop any of the other issues surrounding his stewardship,” she said.
Though Enders dismissed talk News Corp would sell the UK papers, Murdoch’s surprise resignation does suggest a shift in relationship between the parent company and the newspapers.
Below, video of Murdoch questioned a fortnight ago by Tom Watson MP, who described Murdoch as a “Mafia boss”.
Via the Evening Standard