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".
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
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
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...