British Labour Party MP Tom Watson, a vocal and enduring Rupert Murdoch critic, has called on the News Corp boss to be questioned by police following yesterday’s revelations about a secret recording of comments he made to Sun staffers last March. Speaking to Channel 4 News, Watson said he wants to know “what are they sitting on that they’ve not given the police” and “I hope that they’re going to be interviewing Rupert Murdoch about what he did know about criminality in his organization.” Enders’ senior analyst Douglas McCabe tells me Murdoch being questioned by police or ordered before Parliament again is “just about plausible” but adds, “I don’t feel that this in isolation would be comprehensive as a trigger to make that happen.” McCabe sees Murdoch’s comments to Sun staff as being blown out of proportion. “Fundamentally, should we be surprised that privately the chair of a large media organization is trying to rally the troops and be sympatheic with different situations he acknowledges in public?” He allows, “I think one can say he shouldn’t be saying whatever he is about the UK police operation,” but “I can’t read any impact on News Corp.” News Corp yesterday said, “The unprecedented co-operation granted by News Corp was agreed unanimously by senior management and the board, and the [Management and Standards Committee] continues to co-operate under the supervision of the courts.” In the secret recording of Murdoch, one journalist attendee told Murdoch that the staff felt it’s been made scapegoats in the police investigation into illegal tactics used by UK media. That’s partly due to the fact that News Corp’s Management and Standards Committee “continue(s) to hand over information on each and every person in this room,” according to the transcript. In response, Murdoch said, “No, they’re not. Haven’t given them anything for months.” He added that some previous disclosures were “a mistake, I think”.
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