POLITICS
31/05/2012 06:32 BST | Updated 31/05/2012 09:02 BST

Jeremy Hunt Admits Hiding From Journalists En Route To Murdoch Party (There May Have Been A Tree)

Culture secretary has admitted hiding from journalists as he made his way to a drinks party with James Murdoch, but has insisted the presence of trees was purely coincidental.

In April, the Daily Telegraph's Iain Martin recounted a tale from March 2010 when he claims to have seen Hunt duck behind a tree in order to avoid being seen to be meeting Murdoch.

"I don't know whether he saw me, or if something else diverted him, but he suddenly changed direction and darted to the side of the square and over towards a large tree," Martin reported.

"He was obviously looking for the Murdoch drinks party and I could help point him towards it. But he was deep in conversation on his mobile, although he kept looking over towards the door, and the party, behind me. So I decided to just stand there and see what happened.

"Hunt then moved himself behind the tree so that he was partially obscured."

Giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry on Thursday, Hunt largely confirmed the incident but denied he hid to avoid being seen meeting Murdoch.

He said he spotted a large group of journalists and decided it was not a good time for an interview so "moved to a different part of the quadrangle".

"There may, or may not, have been trees," he added.