MP hacking report sparks Alex Salmond questions

As was to be expected, opposition leaders at Holyrood are demanding a statement from the first minister anent the Westminster finding that Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person" to run a major international conglomerate.

The finding itself has provoked considerable contention at Westminster, not least because it was opposed by Tory MPs on the culture committee which had conducted an investigation. They regard the report, consequently, as flawed.

Both the Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders in the Scottish Parliament say Alex Salmond must respond to the majority verdict on the Westminster committee in the light of earlier disclosures that the FM was prepared to lobby for Mr Murdoch's News Corporation to gain full control of BskyB.

No word yet from Mr Salmond, although he will be facing questions in the Holyrood chamber tomorrow - a day early because of the local elections on Thursday.

More generally, the Nationalists have accused Labour of hypocrisy over the issue given their relations with News Corp during their period in Westminster power.

UPDATE AT 17:08: In response this evening, the First Minister has emphasised that line, noting that Labour "has been happy to court News Corporation for many years".

He argues that "the question of who is a fit person to run a major news organisation should be judged by independent authorities like Lord Leveson and by the scrutiny of an independent statutory body like OFCOM rather than a politically divided committee of MPs split on party lines."

Mr Salmond notes further that the Leveson Inquiry's remit includes Scotland - and that Strathclyde Police "are currently investigating allegations of criminality in Scotland."

He says he is confident the criminal law will be upheld.