Murdoch calls for Australian elections

Comment on this story
IOL pic apr27 rupert murdoch Reuters (File image) Rupert Murdoch

Australian-born media tycoon Rupert Murdoch on Saturday said there was a “desperate” need for elections in his home country following a sexual harassment scandal that rocked parliament this week.

News Corp. chairman Murdoch, who this week admitted a cover-up over phone hacking at his now-defunct British tabloid News of the World but downplayed his political influence at a London inquiry, said Australia needed change.

“Dramatic, slimy events in Australian politics,” Murdoch, 81, wrote on microblogging site Twitter.

“Country desperately needs election to get fresh start.”

Australia's parliament was this week hit by sexual harassment allegations against the speaker, Peter Slipper, who was elevated to the top lower house job by the ruling Labor party in a bid to shore up its fragile hold on power.

Slipper, married and an ordained Anglican priest, stood aside from his role on Sunday after allegations he harassed former aide James Ashby, 33, with explicit text messages, unwanted advances and inappropriate comments.

Labor failed to win an overall majority in the 2010 elections and, with the loss of Slipper, has a voting majority of just one seat.

The next elections are not due until 2013.

Murdoch is the dominant player in Australia's media market, with vast holdings including 70 percent of the nation's newspapers, and Labor ministers have accused his titles of openly campaigning against the government. - Sapa-AFP

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines