Jeremy Hunt is in hot water today following the revelations at the Leveson Inquiry of the closeness of his relationship with the Murdochs during their attempted takeover of BSkyB.
The culture secretary was handed quasi-judicial responsibility for handling the deal after Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable was snared by the Telegraph declaring war on the Murdoch empire before it became fashionable.
According to the Guardian, the Labour party ‘is likely to demand an urgent Commons statement from Hunt to set out the nature of his exchanges with News Corp both before and after he was given quasi-judicial responsibility for the takeover.’
Quite right too. But before we give Labour too much credit for belatedly hitching themselves to the anti-Murdoch bandwagon, let’s recall Ed Miliband’s initial response when Vince Cable was stripped of his media regulatory powers for standing up to Rupert Murdoch:
Labour leader Ed Miliband said he would have sacked Mr Cable. …
“Having apparently breached the ministerial code and having said what he said, he shouldn’t be remaining in office and I fear that David Cameron has made this decision not because it’s good for the country, but because he is worried about the impact on his coalition of Vince Cable going.
If politicians like David Cameron, Jeremy Hunt and Ed Miliband had been a bit braver a little earlier , maybe the Murdochs wouldn’t have got the impression they were above the law.