He is known as one of the most enterprising and ruthless business leaders of his generation.

But a panel of British MPs investigating phone hacking at former tabloid The News Of The World have labeled Rupert Murdoch not a fit person to run a company.

The damning conclusion by parliament's Culture, Media and Sport committee went further, accusing the 81-year-old News International tycoon of being willfully blind to phone hacking at the paper.

The committee, which went much further in its scathing attack on Murdoch and his son James than had been expected, added the pair should both accept corporate responsibility for the wrongdoing.

Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company, the long-awaited report stated.

In failing to investigate properly, and by ignoring evidence of widespread wrongdoing, News International and its parent News Corporation exhibited wilful blindness, for which the companies' directors - including Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch - should ultimately be prepared to take responsibility.

If at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications, it concluded.

Also facing criticism were former News International executive chairman Les Hinton, News of the World editor Colin Myler and legal manager Tom Crone, all of whom were accused of having given misleading evidence to parliament.

The panel recommended the lower House of Commons now decide how to punish those it concluded had treated the committee with contempt.

The report was approved six to four, with members belonging to Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party voting against it.

The lack of a unanimous vote could undermine the effectiveness of the report.

Speaking after its release, Conservative committee member Louise Mensch said the findings were partisan, adding the conclusions were, wildly outside the scope of the select committee, according to Agence-Frence Presse.