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Tom Watson challenges Rupert Murdoch over ad ban 'censorship'

MP Tom Watson has publicly challenged Rupert Murdoch over his networks’ stance on a critical Australian election campaign ad.

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald states that Australia's commercial TV networks have banned an advertisement which criticises the anti-Labor coverage of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers.

“Channels Seven and Ten refused to air the ad commissioned by GetUp, while Nine screened it over four days in Brisbane – then cancelled it after blaming a "coding error", the paper reported.

GetUp has already stated that it will lodge a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Rupert Murdoch's corporations own an estimated 70% of Australian newspapers.

"In Australia he dominates the media landscape, playing a prominent role in undermining Kevin Rudd’s dream of retaining power," the South China Morning Post reported today.

MP Tom Watson tweeted Ruprt Murdoch directly asking: “Do you think this ban is censorship?”

Watson has been a leading figure in the campaign to regulate the newspaper industry in the wake of the phone hacking scandal and the revelations that led to the Leveson Inquiry and the multiple police operations into alleged criminality.

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, both former key figures in Rupert Murdoch’s media operation now face criminal charges.

Earlier in the election campaign, a Daily Telegraph front page depicting key Government figures as characters in the 1960s TV show 'Hogan's Heroes' led to a row over the editorial position of the newspaper.

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