Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Tory MPs defeat Labour demand for Hunt BSkyB inquiry

Nick Clegg (left) abstained whilst David Cameron (right) voted against an investigation into Jeremy Hunt (centre). Photo: Reuters

MPs today voted down a Labour demand for Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to be referred to the Prime Minister's independent adviser on ministerial standards for investigation over his handling of News Corporation's bid to buy satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

Despite Nick Clegg's decision that Liberal Democrat MPs would abstain, Conservatives easily saw off the challenge by a majority of 290 to 252.

Political Editor Tom Bradby reports:

The vote came after David Cameron told MPs that his adviser, Sir Alex Allan, had written to him to say that he could not "usefully add to the facts" in the Hunt case uncovered by the Leveson Inquiry into media standards.

But Labour dismissed Mr Cameron's comments as an ineffective "smokescreen" and said that the Prime Minister's judgment in appointing Mr Hunt to a quasi-judicial role in the BSkyB bid was in question.

Earlier, Labour MP Chris Bryant said Mr Hunt "deliberately failed to tell the whole truth to this House."

If the 57 Liberal Democrat MPs had voted with Labour, the Conservatives would have been defeated.

For that reason a number of Labour politicians took to Twitter to rue the Lib Dem abstentions:

Louise Mensch was one of 15 Conservative MPs missed the vote; she met the Queen in her Corby constituency instead:

Louise Mensch was in a lineup waiting to meet the Queen in Corby whilst her Conservative colleagues were voting to back Jeremy Hunt. Credit: Twitter / @martinborley

North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson, however, was rushed back early from his honeymoon in the Maldives to vote.

More on this story