Labour 'To Try And Halt BskyB Takeover', Could Have Lib Dem Support

09/07/2011 22:09 | Updated 08 September 2011

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Simon Hughes today indicated he would vote with Labour to try and halt News Corp's takeover of BSkyB until the criminal investigation into phone hacking and payments to police at the News of the World is over.

He told Sky News that he would "make clear" that there should be a postponement of the BSkyB merger until the police investigation finishes.

Labour will use Wednesday's Opposition Day debate to to propose the motion. The party believe that the assurances provided by News Corp and Rupert Murdoch are unreliable, and think that they might now have grounds upon which to try to halt the deal.

Party leader Ed Miliband this morning told the Andrew Marr Show: "I say this to the Prime Minister candidly: over the next 72 hours I hope he changes his position on this because I don't want to force this to a vote in the House of Commons. But I think he's got to understand that when the public have seen the disgusting revelations that we've seen this week, the idea that this organisation, which has engaged in these terrible practices should be allowed to take over BSkyB - to get that 100% stake - without that criminal investigation having been completed, and on the basis of assurances from that self-same organisation - frankly that just won't wash with the public."

With many MPs from all parties increasingly uneasy over Rupert Murdoch's News Corp increasing its share of the British media market, Labour hopes that it can marshall support from Liberal Democrats and even some Conservatives.

Perhaps sensing a chance to define a point of distinction between themselves and their Tory coalition partners, some Liberal Democrats have come out against the deal.

Late Saturday the Lib Dem MP Stephen Gilbert said that the government should not decide whether the deal should go ahead.

"This is not something that politicians should decide," Gilbert said. "It should be done by independent people."

Lib Dem peer Paddy Ashdown also joined calls for the deal to be halted, telling the Observer: "The public will be outraged and bewildered and trust in our politics will take yet another knock if this takeover goes ahead after what has happened... I think Jeremy Hunt or better still David Cameron should call in Rupert Murdoch and say that this bid is no longer welcome."

10/07/2011 11:48 BST

Ken Livingstone Says During His Time As Mayor No One Said There Was A Cover-Up.

He tells the Politics Show that no one from the Guardian, the paper who exposed the scandal, said there were more revelations to come or he would have demanded the police investigate.

10/07/2011 11:43 BST

Former Cabinet Minister David Mellor On Sky:

It's a sense, this 1930s chicago element of this, that all these people, including the Prime Minister, were so frightened of Murdoch either because of his political power, or frightened because they'd wake up one morning and find something in the papers their wife wouldn't like.

I worry about Dave Cameron because he seems to be getting all of this wrong.

He should stand up now and say 'I've told Rupert Murdoch, do not embarrass me by pursuing this application because the British public will not have it. Instead of which he doesn't, fumbles around. He's lost ground.

After all those times having happy little drinkies with Rebekah Brooks the Prime Minister owes it to all of us to raise his game.

10/07/2011 11:35 BST

Shadow Culture Secretary Ivan Lewis Tells The Politics Show:

"It’s a new era, and politicians have a duty to speak out for the public.”

10/07/2011 11:32 BST

Chris Bryant: Yates Should Go

@ ChrisBryantMP : It is inconceivable that Yates cd remain. He misled parliament - and when I called him on it, threatened to sue. and who paid his lawyers?

10/07/2011 11:23 BST

Rupert Murdoch Has Arrived In London

The BBC reports

10/07/2011 11:12 BST

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond on Sky stresses that Ofcom "at any time" can intervene on the basis of fitness and properness of News International to buy out BSkyB.

10/07/2011 10:47 BST

Simon Hughes' Full Quote About The BSkyB Merger And Voting With Labour

“The position for this week is clear, I think, if there’s a debate and vote in the House of Commons, I will be suggesting to my colleagues that we as a party, a party that’s never been close to Murdoch, never been in this inner loop, I think we should make clear that we think there should be a postponement of the decision.

There shouldn’t be a decision while the police investigations are going on, and we should let the police investigations run their course.

And can I add I don’t think it’s only the News of the World, if the judicial inquiry does it’s full work, which will be in the frame of what the information commissioner made clear in 2006, that many titles, owned by many different people, and other titles owned by News International which have been guilty, not just of hacking but of other offences. And I think that now is the time we bring all of that up.”

10/07/2011 10:36 BST

A Sunday Times Journalist Tweets About Chris Huhne's Allegations Her Paper Hacked

@ camillalong : Do we think Chris Huhne's suggestion that the ST is involved in hacking is anything to do with our 3+ damaging stories about his driving?

10/07/2011 10:18 BST

Guardian Editor Alan Rusbridger On Whether He Warned Number 10 On Coulson

He tells Sky that he "got messages through to all the three party leaders" about the extent of revelations to follow.

10/07/2011 10:10 BST

Simon Hughes Is On Sky:

He says he will suggest to his colleagues to "make clear" that there should be a postponement of the BSkyB merger. He also says he thinks other titles have been guilty of hacking and "other offences".

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