From The Independent:
Sir Harold Evans, editor of The Sunday Times from 1967 to 1981, described his former employer Rupert Murdoch as "evil incarnate" in his evidence yesterday to the Leveson Inquiry.http://www.independent.co.uk/...
In 1981 a number of groups were vying to take over The Sunday Times but Mr Murdoch's bid was favoured because "he was the man to take on the unions", Sir Harold said. Sir Harold was involved in a management takeover bid and believed the Murdoch proposal would go before the monopolies commission but the deal went through in three days.
He told the inquiry that Mr Murdoch met former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ahead of the takeover, despite the businessman's denials that talks took place. "There was a meeting on 4 January and Mrs Thatcher did a secret deal with Mr Murdoch," he said. "It was ridiculous to suggest you can't go to the monopolies commission for the most important newspaper takeover in British history," he added. "In three days a newspaper merger went through and it went through on falsehood and false figures."
It is interesting to note that Harold Evans was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, whose grandchildren were later hacked by Rupert. Sir Harold's words will carry a lot of weight, IMO. Sir Harold and his wife, Tina Brown, were also the editors with the foresight to hire our beloved Brit, a.k.a Peter Jukes, who now covers the scandal for The Daily Beast.
Please support the soon-to-be-released book by Peter Jukes, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF MURDOCH:
From the comments, ceebs found The Daily Beast's take on Sir Harold's testimony:
Sir Harold Evans Fights Back Against Rupert Murdoch At Leveson Inquiryhttp://www.thedailybeast.com/...
Sir Harold Evans, the former editor of the venerable Times of London, whom Murdoch forced out after buying the newspaper in 1981, appeared via video link at the Leveson inquiry on Thursday. The inquiry has, in recent weeks, heard testimony from key players in the phone-hacking scandal that engulfed Murdoch’s News of the World, including Murdoch, his son James, and his former lieutenant Rebekah Brooks. Evans described the 1981 Times takeover as a “seminal event” in Murdoch’s path to far-reaching influence over British public life. His ouster from the newspaper, Evans said, was “the saddest moment of my life.”
Evans—who is married to Tina Brown, the editor in chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and a contributor to the magazine and website—has long charged Murdoch with eliminating editorial independence at his newspapers and using the publications as a means to exert undue power over Britain’s politicians. The relationship between Murdoch and Evans quickly proved contentious after Murdoch took control of The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times, which Evans had edited for 14 years before moving to the daily after Murdoch’s takeover. In his testimony today, Evans described how he and Murdoch “almost came to fisticuffs” when Murdoch disagreed with a story published in The Times by an anti-monetarist writer. Evans resigned after only a year, over what he has long described as disagreements with Murdoch’s editorial interference. “I was disgusted, dismayed, and demoralized,” he said today.
Again from the comments, BlueStateRedhead has found a Guardian article that suggests Sir Harold's testimony contains a possible perjury charge against Rupert:
Evans told Lord Justice Leveson he wanted to correct Murdoch's testimony in which the media owner said Evans had once come to his office to ask what he should put in the newspaper. "Portraying me as Uriah Heep, coming in and saying 'I don't have an opinion, Mr Murdoch can you tell me what to say?', was the funniest thing I've heard in 100 years."http://www.guardian.co.uk/...
It was evidence that the inquiry team listened to, for the most part, patiently. At the end the judge said that the insights had been particularly valuable, coming "from one who's spent a lifetime in the area and in respect of whom so much has been written and so many fabulous stories have emerged".
Both testified under oath; Evans is claiming that Murdoch lied about something...