Rupert Murdoch

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Rupert Murdoch is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of News Corporation, which has about 800 subsidiaries, including 60 in tax havens like Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands. Murdoch owns 31 per cent of News Corporation, which has a revenue of £7 billion a year. Newscorp Investments is his main holding company in the UK, which controls News International, his newspaper company. News International owns The Times, The Sun, The Sunday Times and the now defunct News of the World.

News Corp

News Corporation includes the Twentieth Century Fox film studios, the Fox TV network in the USA, the New York Post, 200 newspapers in Australia and the L.A. Dodgers. News Corp also owns the publishing company Harper Collins (which owns Fourth Estate, one of the largest independent publishers in the UK). He also runs Sky Global Networks, owners of BSkyB. BSkyB paid for a large party for Young Labour (in the World Famous Palace Discotheque in Blackpool) at the 1998 Labour Party Conference, organised by Matthew Freud (the boyfriend of Murdoch's daughter) and hosted by Chris Evans. The party cost £20,000.

Tony Blair

Murdoch met Tony Blair regularly when he was Prime Minister, visiting Downing Street at least every 6 months. In June 1998 he said that in some of their policies the Labour Party were "more Thatcherite than the Tories. But they'd kill you if you said that". Tony Blair was a guest of honour at a huge News Corp corporate meeting in Australia, before the 1997 election when The Sun newspaper switched sides to support the Labour Party. Gordon Brown gave a speech at the next of these News Corp meetings at the Sun Valley ski resort in Idaho in 1998. After the 1997 election it was alleged that Blair had phoned the Italian Premier Romano Prodi to assist the expansion of Murdoch's media empire in Europe.

Although their accounts show profits of £1.387 billion since 1987, Newscorp Investments has effectively paid no tax in the UK since 1988 - receiving tax rebates in some years that have cancelled out payments in others. In 1992 they received a tax rebate of £8 million, in 1993 £5 million and in 1989 £3 million.


In January 1986 Murdoch engineered a strike of 6000 workers at their Fleet Street printworks, sacked them and replaced them with EETPU members at a new plant in Wapping (under a no-strike agreement) in a plan that had been worked out secretly for months. The Wapping plant took over production of The Times, The Sun, The Sunday Times and the News of the World amid large-scale and regular demonstrations and marches. The strike collapsed in 1987, a major defeat for the organised working class. On the 5/12/2000 in a speech to a Labour Friends of Israel meeting, Peter Mandelson said that Margaret Thatcher was right to be intolerant of "the behaviour of the Wapping mob".

Dr Irwin Steltzer, an American economist who writes a weekly column in the Sunday Times, is a close friend and key advisor to Rupert Murdoch. Steltzer has been a regular visitor to Tony Blair and at one point was being paid as a consultant by Downing Street (Murdoch is known to have paid him more than £1 million a year).


Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth Murdoch is a close friend of Peter Mandelson. She is married to 'public relations guru' Matthew Freud[1].

During the summer of 2008, Matthew Freud provided flights for David Cameron to join him and Rupert Murdoch for drinks and then dinner[2]. Delaying the start of his family holiday in Turkey, Cameron flew to Santorini, where he had drinks with Freud and Murdoch on Murdoch's luxury yacht 'Rosehearty'. They then moved on to a dinner party on Freud's yacht. Cameron's entry in the Register of Interests declares the free flights from Freud, but no mention is made of his meeting with Murdoch as House of Commons rules do not require members to disclose details of complimentary trips. A Spokesperson for Cameron stated that this was a 'social event', however, 'a Labour MP questioned whether Mr Cameron's entry in the register of interests was accurate and urged him to amend it to include his meeting with Mr Murdoch'. The Independent reports that 'Denis MacShane, a former Foreign Office minister, said: "First George Osborne, and now David Cameron, have made a mockery of the idea of transparency, disclosure and accountability for senior politicians as they seek to sell their party and discuss their financial affairs with rich foreigners."'

External resources


  1. Grice, A. (2008) Cameron, Murdoch and a Greek island freebie The Independent 24th October 2008. Accessed 12th December 2008
  2. Grice, A. (2008) Cameron, Murdoch and a Greek island freebie The Independent 24th October 2008. Accessed 12th December 2008