Rupert Murdoch is 'evil', former editor Sir Harold Evans tells Leveson Inquiry
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Friday 18 May 2012
Sir Harold Evans, editor of The Sunday Times from 1967 to 1981, described his former employer Rupert Murdoch as "evil incarnate" in his evidence yesterday to the Leveson Inquiry.
In 1981 a number of groups were vying to take over The Sunday Times but Mr Murdoch's bid was favoured because "he was the man to take on the unions", Sir Harold said. Sir Harold was involved in a management takeover bid and believed the Murdoch proposal would go before the monopolies commission but the deal went through in three days.
He told the inquiry that Mr Murdoch met former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ahead of the takeover, despite the businessman's denials that talks took place. "There was a meeting on 4 January and Mrs Thatcher did a secret deal with Mr Murdoch," he said. "It was ridiculous to suggest you can't go to the monopolies commission for the most important newspaper takeover in British history," he added. "In three days a newspaper merger went through and it went through on falsehood and false figures."
Sir Harold feared Mr Murdoch's arrival in England would have a deteriorating effect on tabloid journalism. The pair almost resorted to "fisticuffs" over a row about editorial content during a dinner at Sir Harold's home.
Relations became even more strained as they clashed over the stance of the paper on Mrs Thatcher's policies. "Mr Murdoch was constantly sending for my staff without telling me and telling them what the paper should be."
Mr Murdoch told one journalist his leader columns were too long and insisted he should be "attacking the Russians more".
Sir Harold said that eventually he resigned because he was "absolutely disgusted, dismayed and demoralised by living in a vindictive, punitive atmosphere".
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance
Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial – with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£70 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Group: SEN Teaching Assistants needed in...
£21500 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful and w...
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...