On 20th November 2010 I wrote in this space about the decision of UK Business Secretary Vince Cable to ask Ofcom to review the appropriateness of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation's bid to buy the 61 per cent of BSkyB it did not already own. Although I criticised the bid then, and on several subsequent occasions, it never crossed my mind for moment that sixteen months later Ofcom would also be considering whether Murdoch's son James, the chairman of BSkyB, is a fit and proper person to sit on the board of the company.
Although this second Ofcom review, Project Apple, is only indirectly connected to Rupert Murdoch's bid for BSkyB shares, it is further evidence of how the standing of his News International and News Corporation companies has fallen as the result of the News of the World's phone-hackiong affair and the wider subsequent revelations in evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics and practices.
Leveson has proved to be a can of worms but it is not the only one; the House of Commons Select Committee report on its sessions with Rupert and James Murdoch and senior representatives of the companies is due to be published in two months and now Ofcom's Project Apple has entered the ring. Calls for a full-scale judicial Inquiry to encompass all these individual investigations may soon be heard.
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