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Ofcom steps up pressure on Murdochs over BSkyB, FoIA reveals

Ofcom has appointed a special team to step up its investigation into News Corporation‘s holding in BSkyB, following a FoIA request by The Financial Times and seen by The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.

The regulator has created a unit called Project Apple earlier this year to look at details of phone hacking and alleged bribing of public officials that have emerged from the Leveson enquiry and in media reports.

If Ofcom finds against BSkyB, News Corp could be forced to sell down some of its holding or James Murdoch could be forced to step down as chairman. It is understood BSkyB has already been discussed at four Ofcom board meetings, the most recent last month.

Border officials on ‘club class’ trips

Hundreds of immigration officials travelled Club Class on cross-Channel ferries and racked up £1.1million in hotel bills in Calais last year at taxpayers’ expense a FoIA request has revealed, The Daily Mail reports.

Until February last year, when the perk was stopped, their premium tickets were costing £7,000 a month. Since they have been forced to travel economy, the average bill has nearly halved to less than £4,000 a month. A UK Border Agency spokesman said: ‘We stopped staff travelling this way more than a year ago and are looking at other ways of driving down costs to provide better value for the taxpayer.’

Cost of London Games rises to £11bn as report unveils Olympian-scale security overspend

A report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reveals the true cost of the 2012 Olympic Games is now around £11bn. The report is highly critical of the London 2012 Organising Committee (Locog)- a private company not subject to Freedom of Information legislation – and the Home Office.

When the bid was won in 2007, the budget was set at £2.4bn, but that rose to more than £9.3bn within two years. But this does not include £788m spent buying land for the Olympic Park in Stratford and at least £826m on legacy projects, bringing the true cost to almost £11bn.

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