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Miliband wants new laws to prevent Murdoch from buying BSkyB

August 28, 2011 - London

British Labour Party politician Ed Miliband has demanded new laws to ban media tycoon Rupert Murdoch from buying satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

Miliband sought to put fresh pressure on PM David Cameron over the phone-hacking scandal, by challenginh him to prevent Murdoch's News Corp from reviving its bid to take over BskyB before 2015 at the earliest.

Miliband called on Cameron to close a legal 'loophole' that would allow the company to resurrect its bid before the Leveson inquiry into phone-hacking scandal, the Daily Mail reports.

Labour MPs will soon table 'emergency' proposals to change the law to give Ministers power to block the takeover, or any other major changes in media ownership, the paper said.

Shadow Culture Secretary Ivan Lewis said Labour would amend an Act that would give Ministers powers to ask media regulators to apply new 'public interest' rules from the start of a takeover.

Ministers would also have the power to intervene at any stage of a bid if new information came to light, the paper said.

"We must act to address the legal ambiguities which allowed Jeremy Hunt to disregard growing public concern and damaged public trust in the credibility of the decision-making process," Lewis said.

Labour's move comes as Cameron is facing fresh embarrassment over hiring former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as Tory communications director in July 2007.

Coulson was allegedly being paid by News International for months after he was hired by the Tories.


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