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Leveson rebuffs Hunt investigation calls

Leveson rebuffs Hunt investigation calls
Investigating the conduct of Jeremy Hunt during the BSkyB takeover deal is beyond the scope of the Leveson inquiry, a spokesperson for the investigation has said.

The Guardian newspaper reports that the inquiry has greeted overtures by the Government to look into the Culture Secretary's conduct with a "firm refusal".

Meanwhile, a ComRes poll for tomorrow's Independent suggests that 63% of the British public want the Culture Secretary to resign.

The response comes after Nick Clegg stressed the importance of ensuring the Leveson Inquiry "gets to the bottom" of Jeremy Hunt's role in News Corporation's attempts to buy BSkyB.

The Liberal Democrat leader's remarks came as Vince Cable hit back at comments made by Rupert Murdoch and insisted he dealt "fairly and properly" with the attempted takeover of BSkyB by News Corporation.

However, Mr Cable refused to comment on whether he thought there should be an independent probe into Jeremy Hunt's ministerial code breaches.

The newspaper tycoon told the Leveson Inquiry that there could not have been "anybody worse" than Mr Cable in charge of assessing the bid, and that he had welcomed the decision to hand control over to Jeremy Hunt.

The Business Secretary's defence comes after Ed Miliband and Simon Hughes both called for an inquiry, with Mr Miliband accusing David Cameron of "organising a cover up" of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt's relationship with News Corporation rather than "standing up for the public".

But the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman issued a firm rebuttal to calls for an investigation, telling the media that the public Leveson Inquiry was not "consistent" with accusation of a cover-up.

The Labour leader's criticism of Mr Cameron came as Mr Hunt announced he will disclose all email and text message communication with his special adviser Adam Smith to the Leveson Inquiry.

The Culture Secretary had been challenged to do so by Labour after it was revealed that Mr Smith had had extensive dealings with a News Corporation lobbyist when Mr Hunt was adjudicating on the BSkyB takeover bid.

But Mr Hunt this morning again defended the integrity of the process, as he told reporters: “I will be handing over all my private texts and emails to my special adviser to the Leveson Inquiry and I’m confident that they will vindicate the position that I handled the BSkyB merger process with total integrity.”

Green Box: Leveson rebuffs Hunt investigation callsClick to open

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