Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt told he will not face ministerial code probe

DAVID Cameron said yesterday he will not order an inquiry into whether Jeremy Hunt broke the ministerial code during News Corp’s controversial £8bn bid for BSkyB.

The announcement came after the culture secretary’s appearance at the Leveson inquiry yesterday, in which he admitted he was sympathetic to the BSkyB bid and said he considered resigning after the correspondence with Fred Michel was published.

Hunt said that he had worked very closely with his former special adviser Adam Smith, who knew his views on the BSkyB bid, but said this did not mean Smith spoke for him.

Hunt’s appearance at Leveson also revealed that he sent James Murdoch a message of support for the takeover bid on the day he was put in charge of adjudicating on the bid.

“Great and congrats on Brussels, just Ofcom to go!” Hunt texted to Murdoch, referring to a decision by EU regulators in Brussels to approve the BSkyB takeover.

Hunt was trying to reassure “a furious” Murdoch after the minister originally overseeing the takeover, Vince Cable, was removed from adjudicating on the bid.