Leveson: Jeremy Hunt welcomes report’s findings

Jeremy Hunt appeared at the Leveson inquiry
Jeremy Hunt appeared at the Leveson inquiry
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FORMER Westminster culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has welcomed the report’s findings.

• Vince Cable initially took charge of BSkyB bid but was replaced by Jeremy Hunt after his ‘declare war’ comments on Rupert Murdoch

• Leveson report found no ‘credible evidence’ that Hunt was biased but there was a lack of supervision

• Risks should have been obvious from outset as seeds of problem sown at an early stage, says report

• Hunt’s adviser Adam Smith put in a difficult position when fafed with the ‘intimacy, charm, volume and persistence of Fred Michel’s approaches’

The report found his handling of the controversial BSkyB bid had not been biased.

But Lord Leveson concluded he failed to supervise his special adviser properly.

Revelations over the close relationship between Adam Smith and News Corp lobbyist Fred Michel prompted the former to resign as Mr Hunt’s aide in April, admitting his activities “at times went too far”.

Mr Hunt resisted repeated calls for his own resignation.

The Leveson report found there was no “credible evidence” that Mr Hunt was biased.

But he added there was a lack of supervision of Mr Smith by the then culture secretary.

Mr Hunt said today: “I welcome the fact the report states that not only was there no evidence of actual bias on my part in the handling of the BSkyB bid but that I put in place robust systems to ensure it would be handled with impartiality.

“However, I have always accepted lessons needed to be learned, in particular with respect to the role of special advisers, which is why guidance has since been issued.”