After weeks in which some News Corp investors had started to call for James Murdoch’s head, former Dow Jones (NSDQ: NWS) CEO and News International executive chairman Les Hinton told a UK parliamentary committee on Monday: “I see no reason why James Murdoch should resign.”
Hinton was appearing via video link (watch) after being recalled to the House Of Commons culture, media and sport committee‘s inquiry in to whether it was misled during its investigations in to phone hacking. A date for James Murdoch’s recall has been set for November 10.
Hinton’s appearance yielded little new information. He said he had been right to tell parliament in 2009 that phone hacking by the News Of The World had only been committed by one “rogue reporter”, despite Hinton having previously received an email from royal editor Clive Goodman alleging it was more widespread, because an inquiry by law firm Harbottle & Lewis had not found evidence to support the claim.
Hinton had run News Corp’s UK news publishing arm before moving up to run Dow Jones, from which he resigned this summer amid the ongoing controversy. Asked if he resigned because Rupert Murdoch blamed him for lax oversight, Hinton told the committee: “I would not take that from it. I resigned because I was responsible for the company at the time it happened.”
» James Murdoch’s November 10 session, at which he is appearing to explain apparent inconsistencies in evidence given earlier, will be streamed at Parliament Live.