John Ryley, the head of Sky News, attacked Lord Mandelson last night for questioning the impartiality of his organisation.
The spat is the latest instalment of the ongoing war of words between the government and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which is a part-owner of Sky News.
Ryley told the Cambridge Union last night he disputed the businesses Secretary’s suggestion that Sky News might follow an agenda set by News Corporation, the Guardian reported.
‘Lord Mandelson â€¦ sought to blur the boundaries between that paper’s [the Sun’s] editorial decisions and those of Sky News,” Ryley said.
“Lord Mandelson is smart enough and experienced enough to know that there is no such link, but you can see why it might suit him to create a different impression.”
Mandelson had previously intimated that News Corporation’s Sun newspaper had agreed to throw its weight behind the Conservative Party in exchange for concessions on media policy.
The business secretary has also suggested that Murdoch’s News Corporation wanted to import Fox News-style journalism to Britain and claimed David Cameron’s party had agreed to legislate to allow Sky to tighten its “iron grip” on the pay TV market.