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‘Fit and proper’ test for BSkyB welcome

March 9, 2012 2:03 PM
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Commenting on the news that Ofcom is to probe whether BSkyB is "fit and proper" to hold a broadcasting licence, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Policy Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, Don Foster said:

''The regulator has been too silent so far and it is a relief to see it finally flexing its muscles.

"James Murdoch has fled to New York and no longer has his hands directly on British papers, but Liberal Democrats have established in Parliament that the whole company can still be held accountable.

"It's about time we showed that hacking phones on an industrial scale and corrupting public servants is not fit and proper behaviour for any person or company."

On 9 February 2012, Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons questioned whether the fit and proper person test applied to companies and received assurance that it did:

Stephen Gilbert (St Austell and Newquay) (LD) asked : "Can the Secretary of State confirm that the fit and proper person test in relation to media ownership applies equally to companies as to individuals?

Mr Hunt: I can. We have looked into that very closely following the phone hacking and BSkyB merger issues, and it is absolutely the case that when Ofcom considers the application of the fit and proper person test, under law it must consider whether a company is a fit and proper organisation to hold a broadcast licence, because licences are held by companies.