James Murdoch said on Tuesday he would step down as chairman at BSkyB, in a bid to protect the successful pay-TV group from being damaged by the phone hacking scandal that has hit part-owner News Corp.

I am aware that my role as chairman could become a lightning rod for BSkyB and I believe that my resignation will help to ensure that there is no false conflation with events at a separate organisation, he said, confirming the news previously reported by BSkyB's news channel.

Murdoch is deputy chief operating officer at News Corp and was in charge of the British newspaper arm in the aftermath of the hacking scandal.

(Reporting by Kate Holton)