Boris Johnson invites Rupert Murdoch to London Olympics

Rupert Murdoch
Image caption Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi will join the mayor on Friday at the Olympics

London Mayor Boris Johnson has invited News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch to attend the Olympics.

Mr Murdoch and his wife Wendi Deng are expected to join Mr Johnson on Friday.

The meeting is part of Mr Johnson's drive to use the Games to promote London to leading business figures and encourage investment.

Labour members on the London Assembly have questioned the "appropriateness" of the invitation.

Mr Johnson has invited a number of business leaders to enjoy the sport with him, with tickets provided by the London & Partners organisation.

London & Partners raises money from sponsorship and the private sector to promote the capital.

Mr Murdoch is chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, which has been at the centre of political controversy over allegations of phone-hacking at the News of the World.

He is a supporter of British sports through sponsorship of Team Sky cyclists, including Tour de France winner and London Olympic medal hopeful Bradley Wiggins.

Mr Johnson and Mr and Mrs Murdoch are expected to see British swimming star Rebecca Adlington in contention for a medal in the 800m freestyle.

A spokesman for the mayor said: "The Mayor has always said he would use the Games to shamelessly promote London as the leading business hub in Europe.

"With that aim in mind he's meeting, and will continue to meet, a range of business and media executives at or on the margins of Olympic events to further London's drive for investment that will spur jobs and growth."

Len Duvall, leader of the Labour Group on the London Assembly, said: "There are serious questions as to the appropriateness of Boris Johnson taking Mr Murdoch to the Olympics.

"An internal City Hall investigation is still underway after it was discovered the mayor had failed to declare meetings with Mr Murdoch. I do not think it is appropriate for the mayor to be entertaining Mr Murdoch in this way."

Earlier this month Mr Murdoch resigned from a string of directorships controlling his News Corporation's UK newspapers.

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