The three main political parties in Britain were prepared to urge media mogul Rupert Murdoch to abandon his bid to take over British Sky Broadcasting. Members of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats said they would support a motion by Labor Party leader Ed Miliband when it comes up in the House of Commons Wednesday, The Independent reported. The text of the measure says it would be "in the public interest for Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. to withdraw their bid for BSkyB."
Miliband said he welcomed news that government officials said they supported his motion. "It is now for Rupert Murdoch to recognize the strength of public feeling and the will of all the major parties," he said.
News Corp's bid to buy the 61 percent of shares in the satellite broadcaster it does not already own was referred to the Competition Commission by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday. News Corp. and Murdoch have come under withering criticism since accusations surfaced that News of the World phone-hacked public and private individuals. The weekly tabloid's last edition was Sunday.
Support for the legislative motion gives Hunt a stronger position in supporting public opposition to the takeover, Miliband said. "Jeremy Hunt will get a chance to make a decision about the public interest at the end of this process, once it comes back from the Competition Commission," the Labor leader said. "We think that if the House of Commons expresses a clear view about what is in the public interest -- for the bid to be withdrawn -- then that will help him in making the right call." A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said the government was "intending to support" the call on Wednesday, The Independent said. The spokesman said the final decision about whether to proceed with the BSkyB rested with News Corp. "but we would always expect people to take seriously what Parliament has said."