London: Coming down heavily on David Cameron over his ties to media baron Rupert Murdoch, opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband Saturday termed him a "tainted" prime minister and demanded that the 'Murdoch Empire' in the UK be broken up for good.
Targeting the British Prime Minister during a speech of the Labour's National Policy Forum in Birmingham, Miliband alleged that Cameron "does not stand up to the rich and powerful".
Miliband, who last week appeared before the Leveson Inquiry, said the phone-hacking was not just a media scandal, but it was a symbol of what was wrong with British politics.
It was also a scandal about the way Britain is run, he said.
"We all need to learn the lessons. No media organisation should ever be allowed to exercise that amount of power ever again. The Murdoch Empire must be broken up. This Prime Minister cannot be the answer. This is a Prime Minister who sent the texts," said the Labour leader.
Ever since the scandal involving the world's largest media group emerged in Britain, the David Cameron government has been gaping for answers to uncomfortable questions over the conduct of its ministers and their links to Murdoch and his top aides.
The Leveson inquiry that is probing ethics in the media following revelations of rampant phone hacking at the now defunct News of the World newspaper, saw evidence this week that Cameron had close ties to Murdoch's top executive and close aide Rebakah Brooks.
It was revealed that Cameron received personal text messages from Brooks.
"He received the texts... A Prime Minister who hasn't learned the lessons. That's why we have a tainted Prime Minister. Tainted because he stands up for the wrong people. Like Andy Coulson and Jeremy Hunt. Tainted because he does not stand up to the rich and powerful," Miliband charged.
The Labour leader went on in his scathing attack: "And I'm not just talking about Rupert Murdoch. Tainted because he cannot be the change this country needs. And he even seems to believe that 'we're all in it together,' means country suppers with Rebekah Brooks".
Responding to Miliband's speech, Conservative Party Deputy Chairman Michael Fallon said Labour leaders were as close to the Murdochs as the Conservatives and attempts to "score cheap points on this issue is rank hypocrisy".
"Ed Miliband was a central figure in Gordon Brown's old team that was known for briefing against a sitting Prime Minister, abusive behaviour and negative spin," Fallon said hitting back at the opposition leader.
First Published: Saturday, June 16, 2012, 20:37