News Corp UK shareholder to protest-vote against political funding

A News Corp shareholder, UK asset manager F&C, has said it is to vote against the re-election of the media giant's audit committee chairman at this Friday's annual meeting, because it has concerns over the group's million-dollar political donations.

Rupert Murdoch: political donations under fire
Rupert Murdoch: political donations under fire

The protest has been sparked by the actions of News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch, who last week said he had decided to donate $1m (£624,000) to the US Chambers of Commerce, a body that is renowned for funding Republican candidates.

Karina Litvack, F&C’s head of governance and sustainable investment, said in a statement: "We are concerned to see the company deploy shareholder funds for activities that are best left to the individuals whose views they reflect and are not obviously a business matter for the company."

Murdoch said last week that News Corp, which owns The Sun and The Times in the UK, had made the £1m donation because of his friendship with John Kasich, a political candidate and former Fox News host.

While acknowledging that business should be involved in politics, Litvack expressed concern over the lack of transparency surrounding the donation. She said that F&C would be opposing the re-election of News Corp audit committee chairman Sir Rod Eddington because it felt that the committee should oversee decisions regarding donations.

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