James Forsyth James Forsyth

Parliament versus Murdoch, part two

The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has responded to Rupert and James Murdoch rejecting their request to give evidence to them, by issuing a summons. My understanding is that parliament cannot compel them to attend because they are not British subjects. But others think that as long as they are in the country they can be forced to come to parliament.

That a select committee chaired by Margaret Thatcher’s former political secretary is prepared to issue this summons shows how much the standing of the Murdochs has changed in the past ten days.

MPs are pretty much united in their fury that News International figures failed to give proper answers to previous select committee hearings on this matter. If the Murdochs persist in refusing to attend on Tuesday, I suspect more ministers will follow Nick Clegg’s lead in questioning whether News International passes the fit and proper person test.

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