Shareholder pressure on BSkyB’s Murdoch eases ahead of meeting

JAMES Murdoch is set to survive campaigns calling for him to be thrown out of BSkyB at Thursday’s annual meeting, with investors ready to approve his re-election as a non-executive director.

Advocacy groups FairPensions and Pirc have hit out at Murdoch, claiming his father Rupert’s 40 per cent stake in BSkyB means he does not have the independence a person in his position should.

He has also recently been criticised by broadcasting regulator Ofcom, which said in a recent report that Murdoch “repeatedly fell short of the conduct to be expected of him”.

However, anger looks set to be more subdued than at last year’s meeting, when Murdoch – then chairman – saw around half of votes not controlled by his father tabled against him.

Murdoch quit as chairman in April but remains on the board.

“There has not been a particularly positive response from shareholders,” a spokesman for FairPensions said, adding that allegations embroiling Trinity Mirror in the phone hacking scandal have reduced pressure on the Murdochs.