Hunt sought 'advice from independent regulators' to counteract prior bias
The Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is responding to the Shadow Culture Secretary Harriet Harman's accusation that he backed News Corporation's bid to take over BSkyB when he should have been neutral.
He said that he had "expressed some sympathy for the bid" before he was responsible for it, and that for this reason he sought advice from independent regulators at every stage of the bidding process. He said:
If I was backing the bid I would not have sought the advice of independent regulators who may well have opposed the bid
Jeremy Hunt has said that he regrets the resignation of his special adviser Adam Smith in the wake of email revelations that appear to show inappropriate communications between Mr Hunt's department and News Corporation.
He said that he believed the communications were limited to "advice on process".
'Categorically not the case' that there was a back channel of communications
The Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that he is aware of the impression that there was a back channel for communications between himself and News Corporation during the latter's bid for BSkyB. Mr Hunt said this was "categorically not the case".
He said, however, that the "tone and volume" of communications between News Corp and his aides was "not appropriate".
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt says he intends to "reply fully" to the allegations that emerged from the Leveson Inquiry in due course, but said he intended to "set the record straight on a number of issues" today.
Ed Miliband: 'Shadow of sleaze' still hangs over Government
The Labour Leader Ed Miliband said that a "shadow of sleaze" still hangs over the Government. Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, he listed Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and Jeremy Hunt as examples of David Cameron "putting his cronies before the interests of the country",
Prime Minister: Government will stick to economic plan
The Labour leader Ed Miliband is challenging the Prime Minister over his economic policy at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.
David Cameron denied that the coalition has been "complacent" and said that low growth is due to wider conditions in the world economy:
There is no complacency at all in this government...Our banks had too much debt, Our households had too much debt, Our Government had too much debt...We sill stick with our plans, stick with the low interest rates...and do everything we can to boost jobs.