Directors at BSkyB turn on Murdoch

David Hellier
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A NUMBER of independent directors at the News Corp-controlled BSkyB are expected to push for the ousting of James Murdoch as chairman at the firm’s board meeting next Thursday.

Their unease over his position will be intensified by new allegations that suggest he knew in 2008 that phone hacking at the News of the World was the work of more than one reporter.

Sources close to the group say that some directors, some of whom work for News Corp, remain loyal to Murdoch but that others on the 14-strong board are adamant he steps down until the inquiries over the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World have concluded.

BSkyB’s board includes former Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton, the Random House chief executive Dame Gail Rebuck and Daniel Rimer of Index Ventures. One scenario is that senior independent director Nicholas Ferguson will become acting chairman. BSkyB said: “The company has a strong governance framework which has worked well over several years. There are no plans to change existing arrangements.”

Yesterday former NoTW editor Colin Myler contradicted Murdoch’s evidence that he didn’t know the phone hacking problems were not confined to a single reporter. Murdoch last night said he stood by his testimony.