Murdoch-Hunt media scandal : its influence on UK Government - 1 UKs Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is fighting for the future of his political career after a series of claims that show his support to the attempt of News Corporation to take full control over BSkyB.A series of information -including e-mails and phone conversations-were released into press by the Leveson Inquiry, stating there wassome contact between Mr. Hunts office and advisers from NewsCorp.Hunt is being accused of being a cheerleader of the Murdoch empireand having a close relationship with its executives.
Murdoch-Hunt media scandal : its influence on UK Government - 2The Culture Secretary is prepared to present his side of the storyand has asked Lord Leveson for a scheduled appearance before thecommittee. He has to answer questions before the Members of Parliament andis pressured by the Labour Party leader Ed Miliband who is callinghis resignation.This is the first case to hit the modern Conservative politician and itis most likely to have grave effects to his up-until-now almosttextbook career.
The Case 1Mr. Hunt was among the first ministers to submit his plans for spendingcuts, leading some critics to complain that he was putting his career aheadof the interests of his department.In October 2010, following negotiations led by him, the government frozethe BBCs licence fee for six years, causing the corporation to make large-scale cuts.In late 2010, secretly recorded comments made by Business SecretaryVince Cable that he had "declared war" on Rupert Murdoch, led to hisremoval as overseer of the moguls proposed takeover of broadcasterBSkyB.The issue landed on Mr Hunts desk. The culture secretary had never madea secret of his admiration for the Murdoch empire.He insisted in public that he was maintaining an impartial stance when itcame to ruling on the planned takeover of BSkyB, telling MPs in June lastyear: "I am deciding this deal on a quasi-judicial basis, but I have not metRupert Murdoch or James Murdoch in recent weeks, and all the meetings Ihave had with them have been minuted and done through official channels."
The Case 2 But the emails released by the Leveson Inquiry showed the opposite, that Mr. Hunts office had back-channel communications with Fred Michel, the chief lobbyist for James Murdoch, who was leading the bid for the BSkyB takeover.James MurdochThese emails suggested that Mr. Hunt was supporting the bid and sharedthe Murdochs objectives.When Murdoch decided not to pursue the takeover of BSkyB because of thedamaging allegations of phone hacking against journalists working for someof his newspapers, the issue seemed to have been dropped.Nonetheless, the progress of Mr. Hunts carrer must take a step back, as heneeds to defend himself against accusations of fusion with the Murdochempire.
Murdoch hacking scandal : its consequences on UK Government After the information that had been revealed by the Leveson Inquiry, British Prime Minister David Cameron has been put under pressure by the opposition politicians claiming Mr. Jeremy Hunts resignation.“Now we know he was providing advice, guidance and privilegedaccess to News Corporation (NWSA.O), he was being a backchannel for the Murdochs,” Ed Miliband, leader of the oppositionLabour party, told Sky News.“If he refuses to resign, the prime minister must show someleadership and fire him,” said Miliband, who boosted his credibilitylast year by galvanising opposition to Murdoch.Mr. Cameron had reluctantly ordered the inquiry against theMurdoch empire for phone hacking last July, and had to side againstthis media empire that had helped him gain power the previous year.
News Corporation dropped its 12 billion dollar bid for BSkyB aspublic opposition to Murdoch made it almost impossible to gothrough with the deal.Mr. Hunt denied having supported the bid and asserted that he willnot resign his post, asking the Leveson inquiry to schedule hisappearance to plead his case. Also, Prime Minister David Cameronstated that he still had full confidence in Jeremy Hunt.
The opposition against the NewsCorporation- BSkyB deal grewwider after the phone hackingscandal from the past year. This raisedd concern about Murdochs extensive media ownership, which includes the Times of London and the Sunday Times national broadsheets,the tabloid The Sun and 39% of BSkyB.
Articles for further reading on this subject (just click what you want to know) 1.Sky News chief apologises to Leveson for previous denial of hacking 2. The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, tells the House of Commons he has accepted the resignation of his special adviser Adam Smith following allegations of a "back channel" operating between his department and Rupert Murdochs News Corp during the companys bid to take over full ownership of BskyB. Jeremy Hunts full statement at the House of Commons. (audio) 3. World reaction to Rupert Murdochs phone hacking scandal 4. Can the UK Prime Minister Survive Murdoch Scandal? 5. The effects of the phone haking scandal on journalism