From daily The Independent in Britain:
Former BSkyB chief shocks Leveson Inquiry with frank disclosure of his close relationships with ministers, as Culture Secretary is urged to resign after explosive emails show his office briefed News Corp on £7.5bn BSkyB bid
Oliver Wright, James Cusick, Andrew Grice, Martin Hickman, Cahal Milmo
Wednesday 25 April 2012
The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, was battling to save his political career last night after it was revealed that his office was secretly passing information to the Murdochs during their £7.5 billion bid to take over BSkyB.
Mr Hunt faced demands for his resignation after hundreds of pages of explosive emails, released by News Corp to the Leveson Inquiry, showed that his political advisers engaged in intimate and frequent briefing of the Murdochs’ chief lobbyist to help get the deal through – despite Mr Hunt’s claim to have acted impartially in his exercise of quasi-judicial powers.
One email quoted Mr Hunt saying “we’d get there in the end” and that he “shared” News Corp’s objective of taking over the broadcaster.
Another email, sent by News Corp’s lobbyist the day before Mr Hunt made a statement to Parliament on the bid, drew gasps when it was read out at the Leveson Inquiry: “Managed to get some infos on the plans for tomorrow (although absolutely illegal…!)”
In a day of dramatic revelations at the judicial inquiry, where James Murdoch gave evidence under oath, it also emerged that:
* Mr Murdoch did discuss News Corp’s bid for BSkyB with the Prime Minister David Cameron over Christmas dinner at the Oxfordshire home of Rebekah Brooks – contradicting Downing Street’s previous denials.
* Emails sent by James Murdoch’s lobbyist Fréd Michel show that Mr Hunt’s office would regularly update News Corp on the progress of its bid and how to get it past the regulators – sometimes speaking several times a day, and once even delaying the Culture Secretary’s trip to the ballet.
See also here.
The damning email trail: Dossier of messages reveals astonishing secret relationship between Culture Secretary Hunt and the Murdoch empire: here.
Jeremy Hunt, the secret News Corp emails and the ‘absolutely illegal’ tip-off: here.
Testimony by James Murdoch has led to the resignation of one ministerial adviser and forced Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to defend himself in parliament: here.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt promised on Friday to hand over all his private texts and emails he sent to his special adviser Adam Smith, forced out over his handling of News Corp’s BSkyB takeover bid: here.
Opposition MPs knocked the stuffing out of Tory Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday after dramatically summoning him to Parliament for an interrogation about Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s ties to the Murdoch empire: here.
Rupert Murdoch Admits A ‘Cover-Up’ At The News Of The World, Says ‘I Failed’: here.
Rupert Murdoch testimony: Routine denials of wrongdoing by UK’s political power-broker: here.
News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch yesterday made it clear that he had taken a decision to smash the print unions when he provoked the 1986/87 strike: here.
Teachers branded frantic attempts by Rupert Murdoch to run a taxpayer-backed school as the true face of Tory Michael Gove’s so-called “parent-led” education policies: here.
Former Scottish first minister Jack McConnell said on Sunday that he was pursuing legal action after it emerged he may have been a victim of phone hacking by the News of the World: here.
News Corporation has sought to undermine elected governments. Rupert Murdoch is a man driven not so much by market forces as a deep desire to optimise his empire’s power and influence: here.