British Prime Minister David Cameron is under pressure. He was forced to make a statement in the House of Commons yesterday to defend his embattled culture secretary.
In heated exchanges with the opposition he continued to resist launching a probe into the conduct of Jeremy Hunt. Allegations have emerged of Hunt’s close contacts with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp media empire.
“I will not wait until the end of the Leveson Inquiry to take action if action is needed,” said Cameron.
“If new evidence emerges from the Leveson Inquiry that the Ministerial Code has been broken, I will either seek the advice of Sir Alex Allan (Cameron’s independent adviser on ministerial interests), or take action directly.”
Last week a flurry of emails produced by James Murdoch at the Leveson inquiry into media ethics appeared to show Hunt’s office as a supporter of a takeover bid for BskyB.
Hunt’s private secretary accepted blame for over stepping his role and resigned. Hunt who is obliged to remain impartial over such matters has been accused of breaking ministerial codes of behaviour, something he denies.