Labour could force Wapping to sell a paper, says Ed Miliband
Labour could force Rupert Murdoch to sell at least one of his UK newspapers in order reduce his company's influence and power in the UK, the party's leader Ed Miliband said yesterday. He told the Leveson Inquiry that he had serious concerns about any one newspaper group controlling more than 30 per cent of the newspaper market.
At present Mr Murdoch's newspapers, The Sun, The Times, The Sun on Sunday and The Sunday Times have a market share of around 34 per cent.
Labour is understood to be examining plans to include a cap on media ownership in their next election manifesto. While they will wait to see what, if anything, Lord Justice Leveson proposes on media ownership before coming forward with firm proposals, senior figures are convinced Labour should promise to impose specific limits on media ownership.
Yesterday, in his evidence to Lord Justice Leveson Mr Miliband gave the clearest public indication yet of the party's thinking. He said that his "strong instinct" was that no one person or company should control 34 per cent of the British press.
"There's a question about what the limits should be. I should say we have no worries about someone owning 20 per cent of the news market. I think there is then a question of between 20 and 30 per cent where you should set a limit.
But he insisted his aim was not to "stifle one news organisation" – even though News International would likely be the only newspaper group affected by change. "My aim is plurality and a sense that ... one organisation does not exert an overweening power," he said. Mr Miliband also said he believed some form of statutory regulation of the press was needed.
Labour sources later suggested that this could be in the form of a cross-party Bill setting up a new complaints body – which would then be entirely independent of Parlia- ment or Government.
"I think that we need something which is independent of the press and politicians, something which is comprehensive covering all newspapers, magazines and there is a clear question about internet organisations, something which is accessible, provides fast-track justice or redress for individuals," he said.
Mr Miliband was also asked about his relationship with News International both in government and as Leader of the Opposition. He said he had not had good relations with the newspapers owned by Murdoch either before or after the phone-hacking scandal but admitted his party in government had become too close to the company "in the sense... that when there were abuses by the press we didn't speak out".
"It was a sense of fear I suppose in some senses about speaking out on those issues that were affecting ordinary members of the public. We didn't speak out on those issues where there was increasing evidence about News International's behaviour."
Mr Miliband said he had met Rupert Murdoch in June 2011. "I believe I should have raised the issue of phone hacking with him. I didn't."
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to come
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say singer's representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Maths teachers requir...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Executive Assistant/Event...
£23760 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: The JobAre you a trai...