John Prescott has written to Ofcom, asking it “to assess whether Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation are fit and proper peple to have outright ownership of BSkyB. Under present legislation, Ofcom has the power to determine whether News Corp is a fit and proper owner of all of BSkyB, or even its current holding of 30 per cent.”
Note this comment from an Ofcom “insider”, reported by Oliver Poole in today’s Evening Standard:
There is a requirement that holders of broadcasting TV licences are fit and proper to do so.
At some point in the future we might therefore be required to consider whether the directors of BSkyB are fit and proper but this will only be after police inquiries are completed.
This is an absurd situation. Of course the police inquries will not be completed until after Jeremy Hunt has sanctioned the takeover. If and when Ofcom gets to decide if News Corp is fit and proper, the deal will doubtless be done.
It is therefore vital and urgent to press Hunt to delay his decision on BSkyB until after Ofcom has an oppportunity to assess the fitness of News Corporation. There can be no excuse for him not to do so. The pressure should be relentless.