British Prime Minister David Cameron says he is standing by his culture minister Jeremy Hunt after claims Hunt secretly backed a plan by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation to take full control of satellite broadcaster BskyB.
Emails have been released that suggest that Hunt’s office had offered what has been described as “absolutely illegal” advice to executives from the media conglomerate.
Hunt has denied the claims and refused to resign. One of his aids has quit though.
The allegations have come to light during the Leveson inquiry into the ethics of the UK press following a hacking controversy. Rupert Murdoch appeared before the inquiry on Wednesday saying he welcomed the opportunity “to put certain myths to bed”.
Those “myths” include charges that Murdoch used his influence to curry favour with a succession of British leaders including former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
The further revelations are an embarrassment for current leader David Cameron who is also seen as too close to the Murdochs.
One newspaper claims the media mogul had declared revenge on the British government.
Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt has asked for his appearance at the Leveson inquiry to be brought forward so he can present his side of the argument.