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Dismantle Murdoch's empire, demands Labour leader

world Updated: Jul 17, 2011 16:05 IST

Labour leader Ed Miliband on Sunday demanded that media baron Rupert Murdoch's empire be dismantled in Britain and sought new media ownership rules to prevent concentration of power, amid a row over the phone hacking scandal involving the Australia born tycoon's papers.

According to Miliband, Murdoch has too much power through his holdings in the press and television industries.

Miliband's latest offensive is the reflection of Murdoch's much reduced influence in British politics, a stark change from a culture in which Prime Ministers, opposition leaders, ministers and MPs courted him for fear of being on the wrong side of his media empire.

"The psyche of British politics has changed... So many people have believed that you can't win without Murdoch, you can't win without the Sun... (but now) I think the endorsement of Murdoch will be a pretty double-edged one at the next general election," he said in an interview to The Observer.

Besides Miliband, several leaders have been calling for a close look at Murdoch's current media holdings and whether they are "fit and proper" to function according to the law in Britain.

Miliband demanded cross party agreement on new media ownership laws that would cut Murdoch's current market share, arguing that he has "too much power over British public life".