October 20, 2011 · 0 Comments
As News Corporation‘s shareholders sit down in Los Angeles this week to begin their AGM, they’ll know that at the back of the room there’s a man bent on reprimanding the company.
Hailing from the British Midlands, Tom Watson (not the golfer) is a UK politician and lawmaker.
And, Rupert Murdoch, he is coming for you.
Not content with bashing News Corporation from the Houses of Parliament, Watson bought shares in the company so that he could speak at their AGM. He plans to tell executives of his disgust at the whole phone hacking scandal that dominated the British media this summer.
So, who is this man who dare try to confront Mr. Murdoch. Let’s find out…
Elected to parliament in 2001, Wired reported that Watson was the first MP to have his own blog.
The magazine has also reported that Watson has campaigned against disconnecting users from the Internet as well as supporting data freedom. He has also set up a support group for gamers to protect them from critics.
During Watson’s second stint in office he was forced to resign after signing a note that said then-Prime Minister Tony Blair should quit in 2006.
That annoyed Blair, but it also annoyed one of his friends; Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of defunct newspaper, The News of The World and News Corporation’s defining publication, The Sun.
The BBC reported that Watson was told by journalists at the two papers Brooks would “never forgive” him. Whether it was fear of the papers’ wrath that prompted his resignation is unclear. He’s said it was more a desire to move his family out of the spotlight.
According to the BBC, Watson was reinstated in politics after Gordon Brown took over the role of Prime Minister from Blair in 2007.
Prior to that he joined the culture select committee, hoping to keep himself out of the spotlight, but the Guardian’s phone hacking investigation put that idea to bed. The committee, including Watson were asked to look into the possibility that News Corporation had used phone hacking at their publications.
Watson told the BBC that the company tried to have him removed from the committee.
By Emma Brown