David Cameron still backing Jeremy Hunt
Culture Secretary under-fire at Leveson Inquiry
DAVID Cameron is standing by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt despite continued Labour claims he misled Parliament and broke the ministerial code.
The Cabinet minister held on to his post after the Prime Minister decided not to order an probe into his handling of the News Corporation bid for BSkyB.
A Downing Street spokesman said evidence given by Mr Hunt during a six-hour appearance at the Leveson Inquiry showed he “acted properly”.
Mr Cameron’s decision not to refer the matter to Sir Alex Allan, the Prime Minister’s adviser on the ministerial code, was “disgraceful”, Labour’s deputy leader and shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman said.
The announcement that Mr Hunt would not face a further investigation came within minutes of the conclusion of his evidence, fuelling Labour claims that the issue was being “swept under the carpet”.
Mr Hunt told the inquiry he considered quitting following the allegations.
He said: “I had conducted the bid scrupulously fairly throughout every stage and I decided it wasn’t appropriate for me to go.”
Ms Harman said Labour would call a vote in the Commons on whether Mr Hunt’s actions should be referred to the independent investigator on the ministerial code.
Mr Hunt did accept, however, that chatty messages he exchanged with James Murdoch while he was responsible for deciding on the BSkyB issue were, with hindsight, inappropriate.
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