Labour MP in Hunt 'offence' warning

Chris Bryant, Shadow Immigration Minister Credit: PA

A Labour frontbencher today claimed a "criminal offence" may have been committed if News International was handed information about its BSkyB bid by Jeremy Hunt's office.

Chris Bryant, a shadow immigration minister, told the BBC's Sunday Politics programme that the Prime Minister had to turn the affair over to Sir Alex Allan, his independent adviser on the ministerial code. Mr Bryant, MP for Rhondda, said:

"The point nobody can run away from in either Downing Street or Jeremy Hunt's office is the fact that every element Fred Michel predicted the Secretary of State would say, he did say.

He continued:

"News International knew information about what the Secretary of State was going to say before he said it, and also before commercial operators did.That's a criminal offence, a straight-forward criminal offence."