News Corp boss John Hartigan: Gillard’s attack is unjustified

News Limited boss John Hartigan has responded to Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s claims that the company needs to answer “some hard questions” in Australia, describing her comments as “unjustified and regrettable”.

Speaking earlier today, Gillard said: ““I do believe that Australians watching all of that happening overseas with News Corp are looking at News Limited here and are wanting to see News Limited answer some hard questions.”  

It follows last night’s UK Parliamentary hearing which saw Rupert and James Murdoch grilled over the news of the World phone hacking scandal.

Hartigan, CEO and chairman of News Limited in Australia, said: “The Prime Minister’s comments seek to draw a link between News Corporation operations in the UK and those here in Australia. The comments were unjustified and regrettable.

“There is absolutely no connection between events in the UK and our business in Australia. There is no evidence that similar behaviour has occurred at News in Australia.

“We have answered every question put to us on this issue openly. If the Prime Minister has more questions we would be happy to respond.

“No one is more appalled or is more concerned about what has happened in the UK than we are. It is an affront to everyone at News in Australia and a slur on the professionalism of our people, especially our journalists.”

Last week, Henry Tajer, president of the Media Federation, which represents Australia’s media agencies, told Mumbrella that local advertisers were not drawing connections between events in the UK and the local operation.



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