Jeremy Hunt 'Misled Parliament' Over News Corp Contact, Claim Labour

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JEREMY HUNT
Labour has accused Jeremy Hunt of misleading parliament | PA

Evidence presented to the Leveson inquiry proves that Jeremy Hunt misled parliament over his contact with News Corp, the Labour party have claimed.

In April 2012, Hunt told the House of Commons that he had no unofficial contact with News Corp lobbyist Frederic Michel during the time he was in charge of adjudicating over the firm's bid to take control of BSkyB.

"Throughout the bid process, when I got responsibility for it, the contact that I had with Fred Michel was only at official meetings that were minuted with other people present," he told MPs.

"The fact is that there is a whole pile of e-mails—54 in total—in which he talks about having contact with me, but that simply did not happen."

However Michel's written evidence to the Leveson inquiry on Thursday contains two examples of where Hunt sent him text messages in that period.

One sent after the two men met on January 20 read: "Good to see u too. Hope u understand why we have to have the long process. Let’s meet up when things are resolved J."

On 13 March 2011, after Hunt had been on the Andrew Marr Show on the BBC, Michel said he sent him a text saying that he had been "very good".

He is said to have replied: "Merci hopefully when consultation over we can have a coffee like the old days!"

In his evidence to the inquiry, Michel said more than a thousand texts and messages were exchanged between News Corporation and the department for Culture, Media and Sport during the period when the Murdoch-owned company was bidding to take full control of broadcaster BskyB.

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