back to article Jeremy Hunt 'sympathetic' to Murdoch's BSkyB bid

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt fought for his political career this morning during questioning at the Leveson Inquiry over his handling of News Corp's failed BSkyB takeover. The beleaguered minister told the inquiry's Robert Jay QC that, while he was not a "cheerleader" for Rupert Murdoch's multinational media empire, he was " …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it just me.......

    But whenever I hear Jeremy Hunt's name mentioned on the TV or Radio, this voice in my head says "he's a c***"

    1. Jeebus

      Re: Is it just me.......

      Frankly I'm sick to death of the media making this same joke over and over. The repeated wrong spelling of his surname as "Hunt" has grown utterly tedious.

      1. Code Monkey

        Re: Is it just me.......

        I'm told they pronounced it correctly on 6music this morning

        1. Kugutsu

          Re: Is it just me.......

  2. Mark C Casey


    He was using gmail for government communication? How very secure..

    What does he use as a password hunt123? I sure as hell hope he uses 2-step authentication.

    Don't government ministers at least get security advice from the security services?

    1. Christine Hedley Silver badge

      Re: Gmail?

      "Don't government ministers at least get security advice from the security services?"

      Most likely, and they probably take that advice just as seriously as that offered by their other advisers.

  3. Bob Vistakin

    Ruperts bitch does what Murdoch tells him

    What was that saying about it being time to go once you *are* the news?

  4. IDoNotThinkSo
    Big Brother

    Hunt is toast, and no doubt rightly, but there is a 1000lb gorilla sitting in the corner cheering from the sidelines.

    Who is the biggest media organisation in the UK? Who, according to reports of a previous PM, is the biggest and most active lobbyist? Who lobbied for the deal to be stopped and is now reporting on it in a supposedly 'neutral' capacity?

    Big Brother BBC, who else.

    "We must have the licence fee, because everybody loves the BBC so much that the government should force them to pay for us. Everybody hates Sky so much that they voluntarily pay ££/month to watch their totally dreadful output."

    Best place for a TV is in the bin, anyway. That's where mine is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pity your computer isn't there as well

      1. IDoNotThinkSo

        Well argued response there.

        Which part is incorrect?

        The BBC is the largest broadcast media organisation in the UK?

        It was the most active media lobbyist?

        "12.53pm: Blair says the strongest lobbying from a media group during his 10-year premiership was from the BBC over the licence fee"

        It lobbied against the deal?

        "Cable also received lobbying from groups including the BBC, the TUC, media firm Enders, the Guardian, BT and Capital Research Management."

        The BBC constantly tells people how good its output is, and how the licence fee is worth every penny? Some people don't agree yet are forced to pay for it if they want a TV?

        People pay for Sky TV?

        1. Shakje

          @IDoNotThinkSo #2

          It was the most active media lobbyist?

          "12.53pm: Blair says the strongest lobbying from a media group during his 10-year premiership was from the BBC over the licence fee"

          How does that make it the most active? It just means that out of the other media groups, the biggest push came from the BBC in relation to the license fee. It doesn't say anything about whether they were most active (since it only talks about one issue), and it doesn't say it's the biggest lobbying group. Just that the biggest lobbying effort went into the BBC over the license fee.

      2. Naughtyhorse
        Thumb Up



    2. Wayland Sothcott 1

      You are spot on. It's Sky bashing time and we all like to bash the people who tell lies and spin. However Sky are now on the back foot and are even more subject to government pressure so may tell lies still. BBC are in their element. I won't forget the BBC and the 45 minutes and David Kelly. I won't forget how the media has to inject Global Warming spin into all their output. I was shocked how they spun their 9/11 documentaries. They won't come clean on Jane Standley WTC7.

      ALL mainstream media should be treated with mistrust. Their business is telling stories, to be honorable they should at least tell true stories. They don't.

  5. Tom 38

    Of course he was sympathetic

    Remember that this discussion was whether News Corp (NC) could buy a controlling interest in BSkyB. My reaction on first hearing this was "wait, don't they already?", to which the answer is "yes, pretty much, but not explicitly", and on that basis, what's the big fucking deal?

    A different question is whether Murdoch is a fit enough person to control NC, but whether NC control 100% of BSkyB or 39% is really nitpicking - he has complete control, as evidenced by the nepotistic parachuting of his son in as BSkyB CEO back in 2003.

  6. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT)


    This is a very negative article. According to the BBC this morning, Hunt submitted something like 160 pages of memo's, emails and text messages which apparently show that his handling of the matter was entirely above-board and had in many ways frustrated the process.

    So, did this actually not happen, or is it covered by the line "Hunt has dismissed such claims."?

    I'm no fan of any politician to be honest. In my opinion, anyone who has done nothing in their career but be a politician is not in fact fit to be a politician. However, some balance in the reporting would be nice.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Balance?

      "I'm no fan of any politician to be honest."

      Amazing how the lack of a tiny little comma can invert the meaning of a sentence :-)

      Now, if you were actually a politician, I'd cynically accuse you of deliberatly missing out the comma so that you could appear to mean one thing then backtrack later by claiming it was just a typo.

  7. System 10 from Navarone

    Don't you go 'avin' a go at my BBC

    Political parties hate the BBC because they won't do secret deals to help get them into power. News Corps - the 'mafia organisation' that hacks murdered children's phones and bribes coppers - hates the BBC for obvious reasons. The BBC is worth the TV Tax just to provide some democratic opposition against these pieces of shit. And the argument about people gladly paying for BSkyB but being forced to fund the BBC is bollocks - Murdoch has done nothing but pull up in an ice cream van next to the well he's poisoned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't you go 'avin' a go at my BBC

      The BBC is institutionally biased towards the left.

      Look at Northern Rock, Peston was spoon fed by someone inside the treasury, a run on a bank ensued andthe government of the day was able to delect attention to a banking crisis rather than one involving the state of the nations finances.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: Don't you go 'avin' a go at my BBC

        "The BBC is institutionally biased towards the left."

        Strange, the left claim the BBC is a bastion of the Establishment - It strikes me that any organization that can antagonize both sides of the political divide is doing something right.

      2. System 10 from Navarone

        Re: Don't you go 'avin' a go at my BBC

        Media organisations being a bit biased to left or right is one thing, mistakes do happen and 'rogue' incidents also happen. What differentiates News Corps is the sheer scale of institutional, systematic and deliberate corruption of those in positions of power and their blatant interference in (what is supposed to be) democracy, for private profit. Not to mention the use of character assassinations, blackmail and bribery to further their squalid aims. Compare almost anybody to News Corps and relatively, they'll look a like a 'lefty'

    2. Eponymous Cowherd
      Thumb Down

      Re: Don't you go 'avin' a go at my BBC

      We won't mention the dirty backroom deal between Sky, the BBC and FIA, then.

      Oops sorry.

    3. dumbers

      Re: Don't you go 'avin' a go at my BBC

      The BBC is so biased I am amazed that people don't see it. They are responsible for delivering 70% of the news output in the UK. It's a complete fallacy to believe that any news organisation can deliver news in an unbiased way whether it be left or right wing bias. In the case of the BBC it is grossly left wing bias.

      See for plenty of discussion.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Don't you go 'avin' a go at my BBC - @dumbers

        To my eye, national BBC News is right-wing, anti-science, pro-Establishment and far too interested in reporting local news such as murders and house fires as news of national importance. This "grossly left-wing bias" you speak of would not allow for any of those things, so how do you account for that?

    4. Wayland Sothcott 1
      Big Brother

      Re: Don't you go 'avin' a go at my BBC

      The BBC is biased towards the NWO agenda. Trying to figure out if they are left wing or right wing will get you into a muddle. The two political wings are just there to balance the bird.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not going to resign yet

    After all, he's got all those free Olympic tickets so long as he's Culture Minister.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For a leftist organisation the Right sure do run it

    I believe this "the BBC is all lefties" is a simlar claim for similar reasons to the Fox "Main stream media are all commies" claim, part of a push to the right of the media.

    Consider this

    BBC's Chairman, Former Tory MP Chris Patten

    BBC's Political editor, Former National Chairman of the Young Conservatives, Nick Robinson

    Who does the main Political analysis, Andrew Neil, former Times editor under Murdoch and no leftie. On his evening show he has one other former Tory so that the Tories to Labour is 2 to 1

    Mind you, calling Labour "left-wing" is, I feel, delusional.

    There were protests against the NHS changes, and changes to welfare, that went unreported on the BBC.

    The BBC is complicit in the Government's agenda demonising people on benefits, for example presenting a single, working mother as if she was an unemployed spinger on Newsnight. During an unbraoadcast part of the interview, she was asked why did she keep the child.

    Nope. The Beeb is Establishment through and through, and that tends to the right

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: For a leftist organisation the Right sure do run it

      down with spingers thats what i say!

      (soz i know its a cheap shot, but it made me laugh)

    2. dumbers

      Re: For a leftist organisation the Right sure do run it

      So you have named Chris Patten who is as soft a Conservative as you could get. Nick Robinson and Andrew Neil are then supposed to balance out every Guardian reading, left loving, editor, producer, reporter, presenter, interviewer across the rest of the £3bn/year organisation. Get real.

      1. cocknee
        Big Brother

        Re: For a leftist organisation the Right sure do run it

        dumbers, dumbers. Lefty interviewers?

        John Humphries, Jeremy Paxman, Andrew Marr to name but a few.

        I seem to remember Greg Dyke resigning over a run in with Blair and Campbell.

        Yep the BBC gets it wrong sometimes and mostly it is too timid with all governments but nonetheless it holds politicians and others to account along with Channel 4 news and Adam Bolton on Sky.

        Just because it doesn't agree with your jaded view of the world.doesn't make it biased. If you don't like it just in back to you middle England lemon-sucking cave and read the Daily Heil or Heil on Sunday. With Messrs Hitchens, Philips, LittleJohn and Moir etc enough to satisfy all puritanical, homophobic, racist, Islamophobic, red under the bed paranoia you have.

        1. dumbers

          Re: For a leftist organisation the Right sure do run it

          I realise that for most of the UK the BBC is the bastion of free speech and independent reporting because the tell us they are all the time. However in reality the are the biggest threat to democracy in the UK. Read for a week and see if you've still got that BBC faith afterwards.

          1. Ben Tasker

            Re: For a leftist organisation the Right sure do run it

            Why not read an un-biased publication then?

            All I read is the perfectly balanced Register, so I now know that American kit could be our saviour (Page), humming the lyrics of a song is theft (Orlowski), Windows 8 should be consigned to the bin (Pott) and spell-check doesn't work for 99% of journalists!

            They do miss things though, I tipped them off about the man who thought he'd paint himself green with waterproof submarine paint so that he could be the Hulk and haven't seen that come up yet!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DCMS = Department for Culture, Murdoch and Sport

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I met Hunt when he first became an MP, and it was only shortly after when I became aware of his admiration of Murdoch and his empire.

    In fact he openly wrote about such things. Which was why I was surprised when he was handed the role of deciding about the take over. What surprised me even more was how long it took for the media to pick up on his comments. IIRC they were even on his website. I'd noted them previously as I'd written to him about the media ownership issues in his own constituency (surprise surprise he never replied).

    Given the fact Jezza was happy to turn a blind eye to what was happening on his own doorstep while still in opposition, he's not the best man to be in charge of such a large scale takeover.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Hunt

      It seems to me that, following Vince Cable's unconstitutional declaration that he was not going to do his job in an impartial manner, raising the risk of many years and millions of pounds in courts whatever decision he came to, damage limitation was the order of the day. Part of that process could easily have been to put someone who leaned towards Murdoch in the position Cable was removed from. I am not saying in any way that it was the right decision, but there is a sort of logic in what happened.

  12. andy gibson

    BBC unbiased?

    Try finding a report on Newsnight which doesn't attack Boris Johnson. Paxman has a personal grudge against the man and is taking it well beyond his personal - professional boundary.

  13. mhenriday
    Big Brother

    Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt «sympathetic» to Murdoch's BSkyB bid

    Is not the real question rather who is sympathetic to Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt ? From what hole do the Tories - and «New Labour» - dig up these people ?...


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