GOVERNMENT ministers will appear before Lord Justice Leveson this week, as his inquiry into media ethics probes the coalition’s relationship with the Murdoch stable.
Jeremy Hunt, whose close ties with high-level staff at News Corp have landed him in hot water, is set to answer questions about his behaviour and that of his employees on Thursday.
The culture secretary’s former special adviser Adam Smith told Leveson last week that his frequent contact with News Corp staff, including lobbyist Fred Michel, had been “a buffer and a channel of communication” but did not directly represent his boss’s views.
Hunt has come under fire for his friendly stance towards News Corp during its doomed bid for the remainder of BSkyB last year.
Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat business secretary whose comments about “declaring war” on Rupert Murdoch cost him his role as overseer of the BSkyB bid, will face a grilling on Wednesday.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is due to appear before the inquiry today, with focus set to be on his relationship with News International titles during Labour’s 1997 electoral landslide and his subsequent decade in power.
Cabinet ministers Theresa May and Michael Gove – himself a former journalist – will take the stand tomorrow. Justice minister Ken Clarke will answer questions on Wednesday.