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Labour demand Hunt statement

Labour demand Hunt statement
Labour have demanded a Commons statement from the Government on Jeremy Hunt's relationship with the ministerial code.

Mr Hunt has been criticised for his handling of a takeover deal of the company BSkyB by Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp.

Earlier, a Conservative MP said the PM should reconsider his decision not to refer Jeremy Hunt's conduct for an impartial investigation.

The executive member of Conservative backbench 1922 committee told BBC News that delays in bringing Mr Hunt before the Leveson Inquiry meant a separate investigation into whether he had leaked a statement might be appropriate.

 “[The Prime Minister] did say in the Commons this could be quickly cleared up by Leveson, and it now looks like there’s going to be a delay. So may now want to reconsider just this point because of that delay,” he said.

Labour’s Deputy Leader Harriet Harman said the Prime Minister might himself have breached the ministerial code by not launching an investigation into the Culture Secretary’s relationship with Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp.

“The Ministerial Code says that if a matter warrants further investigation in the view of the Prime Minister then he will refer it to the independent adviser. He doesn’t have the discretion to say somebody else can look at it. So the Prime Minister himself is now breaching the Ministerial Code.” 

But Conservative MP Matthew Hancock said Ms Harman had “jumped the shark” by accusing the Prime Minister.

Mr Bone suggested an investigation could be carried out by independent adviser Sir Alex Allen, or by the Cabinet Secretary.

The intervention will put pressure on David Cameron, who earlier today said he would only act after the Leveson Inquiry had heard evidence from Mr Hunt.

Mr Cameron said that he was "not happy with how this process has taken place" and said Mr Hunt's special adviser was right to resign. 

But he added that he was "content that Jeremy Hunt has acted appropriately" unless there was evidence to show otherwise. he endorsed Mr Hunt, saying: "I think he does a good job, I think he's an good Culture, Media and Sport Secretary."

Mr Bone agreed with the Prime Minister, calling the Culture Secretary a “very, very good minister”. He added that “it almost certainly wasn’t the Culture Secretary” who leaked a parliamentary statement.

Green Box: Labour demand Hunt statementClick to open

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