James Murdoch was left bloodied by a larger-than-expected shareholder revolt at Sky's annual meeting as almost one in three independent investors opposed his reappointment as chairman.
Stripping out the votes cast by News Corp, which holds a 39.1 per cent stake in the broadcaster, Mr Murdoch received the support of 55 per cent of the independent shareholders. About 31 per cent actively opposed his election.
The Labour MP Tom Watson pointed out that, a year earlier, fewer than 2 per cent of investors had opposed him. He told The Independent: "I am shocked by the size of the revolt. This will be a huge concern to James Murdoch."
Mr Murdoch, was met by a handful of protesters outside the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster. Several waved placards saying: "Ban the Murdoch mafia" in reference to an assertion by Mr Watson equating him with a "mafia boss" at a parliamentary committee hearing.
Inside, Guy Jubb, head of corporate governance at Standard Life Investments, which controls six million shares, called for a "new and independent chairman".