The former Labour leader Ed Miliband is leading a campaign for the media regulator Ofcom to launch a full inquiry into Rupert Murdoch’s bid for ownership of the satellite broadcaster Sky.
In a letter to Sharon White, the chief executive of Ofcom, Miliband is one of several senior cross-party politicians to demand that the regulator carry out a “fit and proper person” test following 21st Century Fox’s bid for the 61% of Sky it does not already own.
Ofcom carried out a fit and proper person test of whether Sky should be allowed to hold a broadcast licence in 2012. Although it cleared the broadcaster, Murdoch’s son James was heavily criticised over his role as chairman of News International when the news of the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World broke.
The letter’s other signatories include Vince Cable, who was the business secretary when the Murdochs launched their first bid for the whole of Sky in 2011, the Conservative peer Lady Warsi, Lady O’Neill, a crossbencher, and Lord Falconer, a Labour peer and barrister.
In an interview, Miliband said that a full inquiry was needed given the Murdochs’ bid to increase their Sky shareholding and the fact that James Murdoch was now chief executive of Fox.
“We are calling for a new inquiry to deal with the issue of fitness and propriety given the ownership structure,” he said.
The letter to Ofcom quotes from the 2012 inquiry’s findings that during his time as chief executive and chairman of the Sun…