Church sells off its stake in News Corp

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation was dealt an embarrassing blow yesterday as the Church of England sold its entire stake in the media company in the wake of the phone-hacking fiasco.

The Church said it had decided to sell its £1.9m shareholding because it was not convinced that News Corp had sufficiently reformed in response to the scandal.

The decision came after a year of negotiations between News Corp executives and the Church's ethical investment advisory group, which has been reacting to "serious concerns" about the revelations which emerged from the company's British newspapers business, News International.

The Church of England also sold its stake in the controversial Indian mining company, Vedanta Resources, in 2010 amid concerns about its human rights record.