Shareholders show scorn for James Murdoch

By staff

James Murdoch's long-term future at News Corporation looked increasingly uncertain after shareholders showed their frustration with him.

His father Rupert Murdoch was re-elected as chairman and chief executive by 86% of shareholders in last week's meeting of shareholders, figures now released showed.

But the election of James and Lachlan Murdoch to the board of directors was opposed by 35% and 34% of shareholders respectively.

When the votes controlled by the Murdochs and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a firm Murdoch supporter, were discounted a majority of shareholders opposed James Murdoch's reappointment.

"This is the autumn of the patriarch," campaigning MP Tom Watson, who attended the meeting thanks to a US trade union, told the Mail newspaper.

"The investors have chosen to send a signal that this company needs to be run on proper lines rather than like a family firm."

Pressure on the Murdochs over the phone-hacking scandal is unlikely to abate after forcing the resignation of News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and the closure of the News of the World tabloid earlier this year.

James Murdoch has been summoned to give further evidence to MPs on the Commons' culture, media and sport committee on November 10th.

He will be confronted with evidence from a number of witnesses who have called into question his claim that he knew nothing about the practise of phone-hacking being widespread when he signed off a £400,000 payment to Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor.