Murdoch pledges no backlash against Blair

- Rupert Murdoch reassured British prime minister Tony Blair that there would be no backlash against Labour, following the Government's decision to block BSkyB's take-over bid for premier league football club Manchester United.

- Rupert Murdoch reassured British prime minister Tony Blair that there would be no backlash against Labour, following the Government's decision to block BSkyB's take-over bid for premier league football club Manchester United.

In an interview with the Sunday Business newspaper Murdoch, who owns 40 per cent of BSkyB, said: "We're not going to start a jihad on the government or anything like that."

Blair is thought to have been concerned by Murdoch's reaction to the decision and worried that he might use The Sun newspaper to attack the Government.

The decision to block the bid was announced on Friday, when Stephen Byers, secretary of state for trade and industry, said he accepted the findings and recommendations of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission that the merger may be against the public interest and that it should be prohibited.

In an article in The Guardian today, Tim Allan, Sky's head of communications, and the former deputy press spokesman at Number 10 Downing Street, attacked the decision of his former employers.

"The judgement should have been used not on a calculation of the reaction of the different sections of the media, but on the merits of the detailed competition arguments," he said.





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