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NEWS CORP SCANDAL THREATENS BRITISH PRIME MINISTER

May 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Jeremy Hunt

Only weeks before he was appointed Culture Secretary with the remit to assess the consequences of Rupert Murdoch’s bid to take over complete ownership of BSkyB, the British satellite TV service, Jeremy Hunt sent a message to Prime Minister David Cameron urging that the government approve the deal. The message was disclosed today (Friday) during the continuing hearings of the Leveson committee into British journalistic ethics. In it, Hunt said that by permitting the takeover, Murdoch’s son James would be able to create “the world’s first multi-platform media operator” and warned that if it was blocked, the “media sector will suffer for years.” He implied that he had been discussing the deal with James Murdoch, saying that the younger Murdoch was “pretty furious” that business secretary had asked broadcast regulator OFCOM to assess the BSkyB bid. Opposition members of Parliament pounced on the document, insisting that it provided indisputable evidence that Cameron knew that Hunt would not view the takeover impartially. Labor MP Harriet Harman said during a BBC interview that “absolutely massive” evidence now exists “that Jeremy Hunt was not impartial, he was meddling before he even took over the bid and was on the side of the Murdochs.” However, appearing on an ITV talk show this morning, Cameron said that he had no regrets about naming Hunt as Culture Secretary. “The really crucial point, is did Jeremy Hunt carry out his role properly with respect to BSkyB, and I believe that he did,” he said.