Harriet Harman

Labour Member of Parliament for Camberwell & Peckham

Commenting on the Select Committee report on phone-hacking - 01/

The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee today published its report on 'News International and Phone-hacking'.

The findings of today's Select Committee report add new urgency and importance to Ofcom's current review of whether News Corporation is "fit and proper" to hold a broadcasting licence.

When you hold a broadcasting licence you are in a position of power and with that must come responsibility.  I have no doubt that Ofcom will examine today's findings with the utmost seriousness.

Ofcom announced in July 2011 that it would be monitoring the situation closely as to whether News Corporation remained a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a broadcast licence. It emerged in March 2012 that Ofcom had appointed a dedicated team of investigators for this purpose, ‘Project Apple’, at the start of 2012.

Ofcom's responsibility to apply the "fit and proper person" test is set out in s3(3) Broadcasting Act 1990 and 1996. Under those acts:

'Ofcom:
‘a) shall not grant a licence to any person unless satisfied that the person is a fit and proper person to hold it ; and
‘b) shall do all that they can to secure that, if they cease to be so satisfied in the case of any person holding a licence, that person does not remain the holder of the licence.’

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