Key News Corp shareholder backs Murdoch

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The Independent Online

The Saudi billionaire who played a key role in Rebekah Brooks' departure from News International has voiced his full support for Rupert and James Murdoch.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal issued a statement to say he remained confident that News Corp will continue to be a valuable long-term investment.

It was the Saudi's intervention in calling for Ms Brooks "to go" as News International chief executive that was seen as instrumental in her decision to resign and Rupert Murdoch's willingness to accept her resignation.

Prince Alwaleed has a 7 per cent stake in News Corp and is seen as an important ally of the Murdoch family. Last year News Corp spent $70m (£43m) on a stake in the Prince's Rotana media company.

Referring to the appearance of both men in front of a Commons committee on Tuesday, Prince Alwaleed said: "Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, answered all questions posed by (members of Parliament) with full honesty and integrity."

And he made it clear that he remained confident in News Corp as a business led by the Murdochs. He said: "I continue to see News Corp as a valuable and long-term investment and remain both supportive and confident in the leadership of Rupert and James Murdoch."