JAMES Murdoch has resigned from the boards of the publishing units within News International, which used to include the News of the World tabloid at the centre of the phone hacking scandal.
But Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert and deputy chief operating officer of parent company News Corp, remains chairman of News International, the unit that houses its British newspapers, and a member of the Times editorial board.
The filings show that Murdoch resigned from Times Newspapers Ltd on 13 September – the date on which he discovered he would be recalled by a parliamentary committee to answer more questions on phone hacking.
He stepped down from News Group on 19 September. This is the company that has been sued by many of the phone-hacking victims, including Hollywood star Jude Law and his ex-girlfriend, actress Sienna Miller.
“Following the appointment of Tom Mockridge as CEO of News International, in September James Murdoch stepped down from the boards of a number of News International subsidiary companies including News Group Newspapers and Times Newspapers Ltd,” News International said in a statement.
Harriet Harman, shadow minister for culture, media and sports, said Murdoch should explain himself.
“James Murdoch should make clear why he has stepped down in this way. This does not lessen in any way the need for him to answer questions or take responsibility for what happened on his watch,” she said in a statement.
“The concerns about whether he is a fit and proper person to run BSkyB remain.”
Murdoch Junior faces a survival vote from BSkyB shareholders next week.
And the Leveson inquiry into media practices yesterday heard from Kate McCann, mother of Madeline, who described how she felt “totally violated” by the publication of her diary in the News of the World without her permission.
FAST FACTS | NEWS INTERNATIONAL
● News International is the division of News Corp that holds Murdoch’s British newspapers: the Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun
● News of the World, once part of the firm, was closed in July after the hacking scandal
City A.M. Reporter