Hunt: BSkyB bid handled with 'integrity'

April 27, 2012 at 3:53 PM
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LONDON, April 27 (UPI) -- British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said his contacts with an adviser about News Corp.'s BSkyB takeover bid would show he handled it with "total integrity."

Hunt said Friday he would turn over to the Leveson Inquiry all texts and e-mails to his special adviser, Adam Smith, relating to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.'s bid to take over British Sky Broadcasting Group, The Telegraph reported.

"I will be handing over all my private texts and e-mails to my special adviser to the Leveson Inquiry and I am confident that they will vindicate the position that I handled the BSkyB merger process with total integrity," Hunt told reporters outside his London home.

Smith was forced to resign Wednesday after the Leveson Inquiry's release of details about his contacts with a News Corp. executive led to accusations of a secret "back channel" between Hunt's office and the media empire.

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes joined others Thursday in calling for an investigation into whether Hunt breached the ministerial code of conduct, The Telegraph said.

The Labor Party has claimed e-mail contacts between Smith and a News Corp. lobbyist about the proposed takeover of BSkyB violated three parts of the code.

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