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ED MILIBAND urged the government yesterday to fight Rupert Murdoch’s bid to gain full control of Sky.
The former Labour leader said Mr Murdoch’s latest bid must be wrong when judged by the same standards as his previous attempt to take over Sky, which was derailed amid the fallout from the phone-hacking scandal.
He accused the media mogul and his family of “learning nothing” from the scandal and “thinking that they can get away with everything” in an urgent question on the issue in the Commons.
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley told MPs she would have 10 days to refer the bid to Ofcom once she had formal notification, which she has not yet received.
But Mr Miliband said it would be “totally and utterly unacceptable” were the deal to be approved over the parliamentary recess, with MPs not due to return until January 9.
“If it was wrong for the Murdochs to own 100 per cent of Sky in 2011 and 2012, it is wrong today,” Mr Miliband said.
He reminded the Commons that back in 2011, MPs unanimously urged the withdrawal of the bid for Sky, and in 2012 Ofcom had published “a damning assessment of James Murdoch’s behaviour in the running of News International.
“In even launching this bid for 100 per cent of Sky, the Murdochs are seeking to turn the judgement of this House, the regulator and indeed the country on its head.
“Today, James Murdoch is back as chairman of Sky and chief executive of 21st Century Fox. This bid shows the Murdochs have learned nothing and think they can get away with anything.”
Ms Bradley said: “Unless and until a formal notification is made to the relevant competition authority, I will not be taking any decisions in relation to the bid.”
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