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Rupert Murdoch Hits Back At 'Highly Partisan' Culture Committee

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The Culture Committee was split along party lines
The Culture Committee was split along party lines

Rupert Murdoch has hit back after MPs branded him "not a fit person" to be in charge of a major media firm.

In a statement, News Corporation condemned the report by the Commons Culture Committee as "unjustified and highly partisan".

The highly contentious investigation into the News of the World phone-hacking scandal split the committee on party lines.

While members agreed unanimously that Mr Murdoch's media empire had misled their inquiry in a "blatant fashion", Tory MPs refused to support the report after Labour and the sole Liberal Democrat pushed through the criticism of Mr Murdoch by a vote of six to four.

MORE: Phone Hacking Report Raises Questions Over News Corp's Broadcasting Licence

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Labour MP Tom Watson, who tabled the amendment, said he was disappointed that the Conservatives had been unwilling to support him.

"These people corrupted our country. They brought shame on our police force and our Parliament. They lied, they cheated, blackmailed and bullied and we should all be ashamed when we think how we cowered before them for too long," he said.

Conservative Louise Mensch said Watson's insistence on putting an amendment "wildly outside the scope" of the inquiry had undermined the report's credibility.

"That will mean it will be correctly seen as a partisan report and will have lost a very great deal of its credibility, which is an enormous shame," she said.

Read the report below.
Phone Hacking Report

Responding to the findings, News Corp admitted that the committee had highlighted "hard truths".

There had been "serious wrongdoing" at the News of the World, the company's response had been "too slow and too defensive", and some employees had misled the MPs in 2009.

"News Corporation regrets, however, that the Select Committee's analysis of the factual record was followed by some commentary that we, and indeed several members of the committee, consider unjustified and highly partisan," the statement went on. "These remarks divided the members along party lines."

The company insisted it had "already confronted and acted on the failings documented in the report". Internal reviews had been conducted at newspapers, evidence volunteered to the authorities, and sweeping changes implemented in internal controls.

"As we move forward, our goal is to make certain that in every corner of the globe, our company acts in a manner of which our 50,000 employees and hundreds of thousands of shareholders can be justly proud," the statement added.

In an earlier statement, News Corporation had apologised " to everyone whose privacy was invaded” becasue of the "wrongdoing" at News of the World".

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