LONDON — Rupert Murdoch “is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company,” a British parliamentary committee said Tuesday in a scathing report on News Corp.’s handling of the phone hacking scandal.

The report, which culminates months of investigation by a select committee, was far more condemning of the 81-year-old media titan than expected, saying the chairman and chief executive of News Corp. had “turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness” over the widespread malpractice at his now-closed News of the World tabloid.

“This culture, we consider, permeated from the top throughout the organization and speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International,” the report said.

The committee approved the report six votes to four, with the four members from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party staunchly objecting to the description of Murdoch as an unfit proprietor.

“The issue on which no Conservative member felt they could support the report itself was the line put in the middle of the report that said that Mr. Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to run an international company,” said Louise Mensch, a Conservative MP and panel member, at a news conference in central London on Tuesday.

The 121-page report includes a catalogue of criticisms, accusing three senior figures at News International, the British arm of News Corp., of misleading the committee. The three included Les Hinton, the former head of News International, who the panel said was “complicit” in a coverup. The lawmakers also said that Colin Myler, the former editor of News of the World and now editor at the New York Daily News, and Tom Crone, the tabloid’s former legal manager, “answered questions falsely” while testifying before the committee.

Still, their “reluctance” to be honest with the committee was “understandable,” the committee said, given Murdoch’s “fearsome reputation.”

Crone denied the allegations in a statement, while Hinton, Murdoch’s right-hand man for decades, described them in a separate statement as “unfounded, unfair and erroneous.”

For his part, Myler said that he stood by the evidence he had given the committee and was confident that the various ongoing investigations – three related police investigations and a judge-led inquiry into press ethics – would “establish the truth in the fullness of time.”

The panel also pointed a finger at Murdoch’s sprawling media empire as a whole, blaming its overall corporate governance. “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,” the report said, referring also to Murdoch’s 39-year-old son, the former head of News International.

News Corp. said Tuesday that it regretted parts of the report’s commentary “that we, and indeed several members of the committee, consider unjustified and highly partisan.”

The company also said: “Hard truths have emerged from the Select Committee Report: that there was serious wrongdoing at the News of the World; that our response to the wrongdoing was too slow and too defensive; and that some of our employees misled the Select Committee in 2009.”

Ofcom, Britain’s broadcasting media regulator, said in a statement that it was reading the report “with interest.” Britain’s broadcast media regulator is investigating whether the profitable satellite broadcaster BSkyB, which is partially owned by News Corp., is a “fit and proper” owner of a license.

Although the committee said there was no definitive evidence that either of the Murdochs had misled the committee, it faulted James for what it called his “lack of curiosity,” adding that it was “simply astonishing” that James did not realize until late 2010 that the crisis extended beyond “one rogue reporter.”

For years, News Corp. maintained that phone hacking at News of the World was limited to its royal editor Clive Goodman, who was briefly jailed in 2007, along with a private investigator, for tapping into the voice mails of aides to Prince William.

Murdoch closed the News of the World last summer following the revelations that its reporters had hacked into numerous voice mails, including those of a teen-age girl who had been murdered.

The panel said it was now up to the House of Commons to decide what “punishment should be imposed” on those it deems guilty of contempt.

News Corp.’s investors did not appear too shaken by the report, with shares up 1.35 percent in early trading Tuesday. Murdoch’s British operations are a relatively small part of News Corp., accounting for approximately 8 percent of the company’s revenue.

Political commentators said Hinton, Crone and Myler could be asked to apologize in person to the House of Commons, a sanction said to be last imposed more than 50 years ago.