London: London Mayor Boris Johnson has invited media baron Rupert Murdoch to join him watching the sporting action at the Olympic Games, a source in the capital's governing authority said on Wednesday.
    
Australian-born Murdoch, 81, has been at the centre of a political storm in Britain over the past year, following the eruption of the phone-hacking scandal at his now-defunct News of the World newspaper.
    
But a source in the Greater London Authority said the News Corporation chairman and his wife Wendi Deng would join Johnson at the Olympic Park to watch the swimming finals at the Aquatics Centre on Friday.
    
The trip is part of the Conservative mayor's drive to use the Olympics to promote London to leading business figures and encourage investment in the British capital.
    
"The mayor has always said he would use the Games to shamelessly promote London as the leading business hub in Europe," Johnson's spokesman said.
    
"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."     

A British inquiry into the ethics of the press, which has now retired to consider its recommendations, grilled Murdoch and senior politicians including three prime ministers over their links to the media baron and his papers.
    
Two former Murdoch executives -- Rebekah Brooks, a close friend of Prime Minister David Cameron, and Andy Coulson, the premier's ex-media chief -- have been charged with offences relating to phone hacking at the News of the World.
    
Johnson is known to regard Murdoch as an important supporter of British sports through initiatives such as the sponsorship of Team Sky, the cycling team behind Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins.
    
But a newspaper reported on Wednesday that Johnson is also seeking Murdoch's support for a possible leadership challenge against Cameron, which would capitalize on the mayor's high profile during the Olympics.

(Agencies)

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