The evidence, including emails and texts, is out. When Adam Smith told Hunt that his decision not refer the BSkyB bid to the Competition Commission had an, erm, mixed reception, he replied:

“… good to be a hate figure, Maggie would be proud of me!”

In 1981 Margaret Thatcher famously waved Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of The Times through, despite concerns over media plurality. The Culture Secretary, supposedly acting in a non-political matter told another colleague that being a hate figure on the left in particular meant he “must be doing something right!” And there’s more:

Preparing for Hunt’s statement to the Commons in March regarding BSkyB’s Undertakings in Lieu (which got them out of referral to the Competition Commission), politically neutral Adam Smith prepared a series of friendly questions which could be planted with backbenchers, including:

“Can [the minister] confirm that Ofcom’s advice is that these arrangements are sufficient to address the plurality concerns that initially led them to believe the deal should be referred to the competition commission?”

Seems odd that one so confident in their quasi-judicial capacity should need political allies to throw him soft balls.

Scrapbook is sure that Mr Hunt has the full confidence of the Prime Minister.

  1. Steven Andrew says:

    I don’t think people hate Hunt. He isn’t a hate figure. Most people just find him a slimy posh boy.

  2. You’re no hate figure, you are a liar and a cheat doing your masters’ bidding. I really ejoyed the sight of you squerming trying to convince people that even though you were 110% for the totally discredited Murdochs you were unbiased in the way you handled the situation. Just think of the position you would have been in had the deal taken place before the phone hacking scandle broke.

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