Tag Archives: rupert murdoch

Boris refuses to deny Murdoch’s Olympic ticket paid for by taxpayers

The Mayor of London’s office has refused to deny claims that taxpayers’ will pick up the bill for him taking media mogul Rupert Murdoch to the women’s swimming finals this weekend.

Following on from the news yesterday, questions had been raised over where the money would come from. The corporate hospitality tickets allocated to the Mayor and the GLA are paid for by sponsorship, but any shortfall is made up through the city’s promotional body, London & Partners — itself partly funded by the Mayor’s Office. Estimates place the possible shortfall at, erm, nearly £130,000.

When Scrapbook contacted City Hall to ask for clarification of the point, Boris’ spokesperson made no denial that public funds may end up paying for the jaunt.

Boris’ closeness to Murdoch has already proved controversial, and there is an ongoing investigation into his failure to declare meetings with the News International boss. Many Londoners who were unable to get tickets through LOCOG’s heavily-criticised ballot system might be less than amused at paying for a billionaire to attend.

With yesterday’s “zip wire incident” and now this, are the wheels falling off Boris’ leadership campaign already?

More: Read Boris’ response to Scrapbook »

Rupert Murdoch to visit Olympics as Boris’ personal guest

Boris Johnson has chosen to host Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi as his guests at an Olympic swimming final on Friday, underscoring his closeness to the media baron. The engagement is the first between the pair since Political Scrapbook exposed meetings which City Hall had attempted to hide from journalists and members of the London Assembly.

As parliamentary recess begins to bite, the gossip-starved lobby has been abuzz with news that Boris is the most popular choice of future leader with the Tory grassroots. Whilst all around him have been disavowing Murdoch, Boris has clung resolutely to Rupert’s skirt — alongside William Hague and Michael Gove, who the same grassroots poll found were second and third favourite to succeed Cameron.

The opening skirmish of the next Tory leadership race may well be for the affections of Rupert: his former journalist Gove vs his bestselling authors Boris and William.

The cover-up: Boris team lied to BBC over meeting with Rupert Murdoch

  • Journalists told that meetings were in online diary
  • But dinner at Murdoch’s home was not disclosed
  • Details then hidden in obscure area of City Hall website

With the mainstream media following Scrapbook’s scoop on Boris Johnson’s undeclared meeting with Rupert Murdoch, a news report puts a hole in one of the excuses offered by Team Boris: that the engagement was declared on the City Hall website — albeit hidden in a section in which people would not look for this information and is not searchable by Google.

When BBC London political editor Tim Donovan asked for the meetings, he was told that they were available in the mayor’s diary — but they were not.

“when we asked last July for the full details of all the meetings he had with the Murdochs, his office said that his diary was published online. His diary at the time did not reveal this meeting with Mr Murdoch.”

At some point between last July (page archive) and this week, the scanned document was placed on the websiteostensibly in response to a freedom of information request.

The hoped and prayed that no one would notice.

Scottish government phones ‘were targeted by newspaper hackers’

  • Salmond government refused to comment on allegations
  • Murdoch accused of pressuring Scottish prosecutors
  • Cover-up over NOTW meetings with Edinburgh police

Scottish government telephones were targeted for phone hacking, it has been claimed. The news comes despite the refusal of Alex Salmond’s administration — backed by Rupert Murdoch — to comment on allegations said to have had a “serious impact” on the country’s security.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie wrote to the country’s top civil servant to ask whether official phones were hacked — but Sir Peter Housden refused to comment. Rennie told the Scotsman:

“It seems clear to me that Scottish Government phones have been hacked. Sir Peter could easily have told me that the Scottish Government had not become a victim. Telling me nothing had happened would not have jeopardised any police investigation – but he didn’t.”

In contrast with London, where the Leveson Inquiry and media select committee have placed evidence in the public domain, Scottish authorities have refused to release vital information on the basis that Strathclyde Police’s Operation Rubicon investigation is ongoing.

As Scrapbook confirmed last week, however, the Glasgow-based force have made precisely zero arrests for hacking — despite a long list of victims and Alex Salmond’s claims at Leveson of a “well-resourced investigation”.

The Edinburgh-based police force which originally prosecuted Tommy Sheridan for perjury have refused to reveal details of meetings with Scottish News Of The World journalists, while prosecutors have also refused to reveal NOTW contact — despite a top QC accusing them of being nobbled by Murdoch.

It’s not the scandal that gets you … it’s the cover-up.

Hague defends Murdoch (after £400k+ column and publishing deals)

William Hague came out fighting for Rupert Murdoch after a report from MPs branded him “not a fit person” to run an international company. This is from the man who worked for the News of the World as one of their highest paid columnists, earning over £400,000 from it and his publishing deals.

Rowing back against efforts to pressure media regulators Ofcom over their “fit and proper” rule, Billy Fizz told Radio Five Live:

“They are great business people, let us be clear about that … people who run big businesses around the world are very capable people”

Hauge was brought to News Of The World by Andy Coulson in 2003. In his two years as a columnist Hague was paid an eye-watering £390,000 by the Murdoch red top — comprising four six-month contracts each worth almost £100,000. Hague is rumoured to have introduced Coulson to George Osborne, who fatefully brought him into Number 10.

Hague’s biographies of William Wilberforce and Pitt the Younger, written while he was on the backbenches, were published by Murdoch’s HarperCollins — boosting his income from NewsCorp companies to nearer £1m.

In backing NewsCorp, the foreign secretary follows in the tracks of fellow Murdoch columnist Michael Gove, who was one of Jeremy Hunt’s staunchest defenders after his bruising Commons statement last week. And while Louise Mensch’s books are published by Hachette, it is notable that her sister Tilly Bagshawe has transitioned from Hachette to Harper Collins.

We’re sure Mensch’s performances over the last year will not have debarred her from joining Murdoch’s stable of bestselling authors.

Read more: NOTW paid £20k to bury embarrassing photos »

MPs slam Murdoch: “not a fit person” to run major company

In language more strident than anyone had anticipated, the House of Commons’ media select committee have this to say about Rupert Murdoch:

“We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company.”

Damning.

More: Which MPs still backed Murdoch? »

Ask Murdoch: the NewsCorp search engine of choice

Murdoch senior’s testimony to the Leveson Inquiry might have finished, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to! Scrapbook presents a new and up-to-date version of the Ask Murdoch search engine, guaranteed to be helpful to government ministers looking to ingratiate themselves with the NewsCorp boss.

Warning: may be prone to convenient memory lapses.

Rupert Murdoch’s plans to launch school with Michael Gove

Rupert Murdoch’s written evidence to the Leveson Inquiry reveals that News International planned to launch a Free School with the support of Michael Gove.

The documents reveal Murdoch planned to discuss founding the school with Gove after News International’s plans to fund an Academy in East London fell through against a backdrop of protest.

Opposition to the development centred around News Corporation’s ownership of education technology provider Wireless Generation — and fears that students would become guinea pigs for the testing of profit-making technology. NewsCorp executives have claimed:

“Today’s classroom looks almost exactly the same as it did in the Victorian age …The key is the software.”

Murdoch met with Gove – twice at the press baron’s home — on four occasions throughout 2010 and 2011, with education reform being a principal topic of discussion. News International also met with Gove and Boris Johnson to visit the proposed site of the new school.

The Leveson evidence also show that News International were in contact with staff at the Department of Education to discuss plans for the school project.

Michael Gove took to the airwaves yesterday to heap lavish praise on beleaguered culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.

He may need his colleagues to return the favour before the end of play.

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