There is now blood on the floor of the Leveson Inquiry, with Jeremy Hunt’s SpAd quitting over his communications with News Corporation. As we blogged earlier, however, the Ministerial Code still makes Hunt responsible.
Here is the full statement from (now former) SpAd Adam Smith:
While it was part of my role to keep News Corporation informed throughout the BskyB bid process, the content and extent of my contact was done without authorisation from the Secretary of State. I do not recognise all of what Fred Michel said, but nonetheless I appreciate that my activities at times went too far and have, taken together, created the perception that News Corporation had too close a relationship with the department, contrary to the clear requirements set out by Jeremy Hunt and the permanent secretary that this needed to be a fair and scrupulous process. Whilst I firmly believe that the process was in fact conducted scrupulously fairly, as a result of my activities it is only right for me to step down as special adviser to Jeremy Hunt.