London, Oct. 29: James Murdoch will come under attack from shareholders at BSkyB’s annual meeting on Thursday after Britain’s telecoms watchdog questioned his ‘competence’ and ‘attitude’.
Murdoch stepped down as BSkyB chairman amid fears that the News International phone-hacking scandal would damage the firm, but he stayed on as non-executive director.
Shareholder group Pirc (Pensions Investment Research Consultants) has urged shareholders to vote against his re-appointment due to the criticisms levelled against Murdoch by communications regulator Ofcom.
According to the Daily Star, the group said that Murdoch is not considered to be independent as his father Rupert Murdoch who is the ultimate controlling shareholder through News Corporation.
“Although Ofcom stated that the evidence available to date did not provide a reasonable basis to conclude that James Murdoch deliberately engaged in any wrongdoing, it was severely critical of him,” a statement from Pirc said.
Ofcom hit out at Murdoch’s failure to uncover problems at News International earlier during its review of Sky’s broadcasting licence in the wake of the hacking allegations, the report said.
The regulator determined that BSkyB was ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence, but Murdoch was spared no criticism in its concluding report, the report added.
“We consider that the events set out above raise questions regarding James Murdoch’s competence in the handling of these matters and his attitude towards the possibility of wrongdoing in the companies for which he was responsible,” Ofcom said.
As well as Pirc, investment campaigners FairPensions have called for Murdoch to resign in light of Ofcom’s comments, the report added. (ANI)