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Rupert Murdoch At Leveson: News Corp Boss Attacks 'Unethical' Paul Dacre

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RUPERT MURDOCH
News Corp Chief Rupert Murdoch (L) and his wife Wendi Deng (R) drive away from the High Court in central London | Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch has attacked Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre accusing him of using commercial interests to drive his editorial policy.

He told the Leveson inquiry he was under "strict instructions" by his lawyers not to say this, but claimed: "I was really shocked by the statement of Mr Dacre the other day that his editorial policy is driven by commercial interests.

"I think that is the most unethical thing I've read for a long time, and from a suprising source."

Murdoch said he respected Paul Dacre as an editor and once tried to poach him to edit The Times, but was unimpressed by his comments.

Barrister Robert Jay QC defended Dacre, saying he was discussing his opposition to BSkyB bid. This was an admission that came out in the emails between Frederic Michel and News Corp executives, where he Michel writes that Hunt's adviser reported a conversation between editors where Dacre "admitted he was purely motivated by commercial reasons."

Paul Dacre was not the only editor who came under fire from Murdoch during his evidence to Leveson. He also criticised the former News of the World editor Colin Myler who now edits a rival to Murdoch's New York Post "would not have been my choice" for editor of the paper.

The lawyer for Associated Newspapers Jonathan Caplan challenged Murdoch's evidence, saying: "I'm going to suggest you've made a mistake in reading something... [it was] a reference to the campaign by the Daily Mail and other newspapers against News Corp's acquisition of BSkyB."

But Murdoch said he did not "see the difference," adding: "I think there's no doubt that maybe the Daily Mail and other newspapers were campaigning against it and against us.. That is a commercial reason. They said at the time in their public statement they felt in some commercial danger, if you like, if we succeeded."

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