With Leveson evidence revealing communications between Jeremy Hunt’s special adviser and Murdoch’s lobbyist, the email exchange perhaps offered one chink of light for the culture secretary: the claim that his SpAd, Adam Smith, had acted beyond his capacities and without Hunt’s knowledge. This is basically the same excuse offered by, erm, Liam Fox during the Adam Werritty scandal.

In contrast with Werritty’s unofficial jet-setting, however, we have the clarity of the Ministerial Code. And it doesn’t help him very much:

“The responsibility for the management and conduct of special advisers, including discipline, rests with the Minister who made the appointment.”

Would Hunt have us believe he’s the only minister in Whitehall who doesn’t know precisely what his SpAd is doing?

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