Alex Salmond defends links to Rupert Murdoch
Saturday 28 April 2012
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond described his relationship with Rupert Murdoch as "good and business-like" today as he fended off Labour criticism of his links to the media magnate.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has described Mr Salmond as an "undercover lobbyist" for Mr Murdoch after the Leveson Inquiry heard that News Corporation thought the SNP leader would intervene on behalf of the company's BSkyB takeover bid.
News Corporation's director of public affairs Frederic Michel emailed James Murdoch suggesting Mr Salmond was prepared to lobby Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt on the issue.
Asked about his relationship with Mr Murdoch, Mr Salmond told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think Rupert Murdoch is one of the most substantial figures in journalism for the last 50 years so it would strike me as important to have a good and business-like relationship with him.
"He also, in BSkyB at least, employs 6,200 in Scotland.
"I want to have a good and professional relationship, I think that's the best way to describe it."
On Mr Miliband, he added: "This is a guy who last July was having champagne and canapes at a News International reception but now thinks people will forget all of Labour's previous associations."
Mr Salmond has previously insisted his interest in the deal was linked to employment.
But Mr Miliband, who was campaigning with his party in Glasgow yesterday, said: "If he had nothing to hide, why did he hide it?
"What he actually did was, acted as an undercover lobbyist for Rupert Murdoch.
"I don't think that's what people expect of the First Minister of Scotland.
"I think they want a First Minister who will stand up for ordinary people in Scotland, not the rich and powerful."
Labour MSP David Stewart said: "After his deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, struggled to defend him on BBC Scotland yesterday, Alex Salmond did little better today.
"Crucially, yet again he failed to say how many jobs Scotland was supposed to get if the Murdochs took complete ownership of BSkyB."
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
Animal welfare charities have urged the boy band to cut the scenes
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reading are...
£10 per hour: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienced note taker...
£4800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: A full time...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...