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Murdoch admits ministerial chats during BSKYB bid

Murdoch admits ministerial chats during BSKYB bid
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As expected the spotlight is now turning on the politicians in the Leveson inquiry into British press ethics.

James Murdoch again gave evidence today, and again denied any knowledge of criminal practice by any of his staff.

But Robert Jay QC questioned why Murdoch had contacts with the Culture Minister when Sky TV needed the regulator’s green light for a takeover.

“You understood that it was inappropriate, because this was a judicial process, to have formal meetings with the secretary of state, did you?” he said.

Murdoch replied: “That seems to be what this says. I didn’t agree with the points and I was, you know – and I’m sure I know what you’re coming to – I was displeased with the decision.”

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt refused to answer questions after the court bombshell, and faced opposition calls to resign. Already scheduled to appear before Leveson, he has asked to be heard early.

News International led a charge from the end of the 1960s into unashamedly populist journalism powered by scandal and hard cash that the rest of Britain’s popular press followed. The resulting culture that Leveson is addressing is the child of James’ father, News Corporation boss Rupert, who appears at the inquiry today.