Hunt to make Commons statement

Jeremy Hunt will make a statement to the Commons

Jeremy Hunt will make a statement to the Commons

First published in National News © by

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to make a statement to Parliament about his part in the News Corporation bid to take over BSkyB after the release of a cache of emails sparked demands for his resignation.

Mr Hunt will address MPs in the House of Commons later, said his Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The Culture Secretary insisted he had behaved "scrupulously fairly" as he fought for his political life over claims that he secretly backed News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch's attempt to buy the 61% of the satellite broadcaster which his company did not own.

Labour leader Ed Miliband accused him of "acting as a back-channel" for the Murdochs after emails from News Corp executive Frederic Michel were released by the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

The messages appeared to show regular and intensive contact with Mr Hunt's office during the period when he was in a quasi-judicial role deciding whether the bid should go ahead.

Labour said the emails showed Mr Hunt passed secret information to News Corp and misled Parliament over the extent of his contacts with the company.

The Tory Cabinet minister told reporters: "I made my position very clear, I am going to be making a very, very determined effort to show that I behaved with total integrity and conducted this process scrupulously fairly."

He wrote to Lord Justice Leveson asking for his appearance before the inquiry to be brought forward to the earliest possible date to allow him to give his version of events.

The row is set to intensify as Labour prepares to face down David Cameron over the allegations at Prime Minister's Questions.

Mr Cameron's own links to the Murdochs will also come under the spotlight following Tuesday's evidence from James Murdoch at the inquiry. The News Corp executive revealed that he and the Prime Minister briefly discussed the BSkyB bid in December 2010 - two days after Business Secretary Vince Cable was stripped of his decision-making power on the takeover. That was at a Christmas dinner hosted by News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks that the Prime Minister attended on December 23 2010.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree