James Murdoch has confirmed to the Leveson enquiry that he did discuss News International’s bid to take over BSkyB with Cameron at a dinner at the home of Rebekah Brooks. Last year I wrote a post about Cameron’s denial that he had an inappropriate conversation with the Murdoch’s about their bid to take over BSkyB. It looked like a “I didn’t inhale” denial. Now we know he did inhale.
Not only that, it has also emerged in the same interview that Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary charged with ensuring that the takeover was according to law, was briefing Murdoch on the back channel via his staff. His tenure looks very shaky. Cameron will also be under severe pressure.
As I write, Rupert Murdoch is being interviewed by Robert Jay, counsel to the Leveson enquiry. Its across Sky, BBC and CNN – it’s going to last or five hours. It’s a fascinating insight into the relations between media and politics. It is also showing how a judicial enquiry is the best way to ensure light is shed on the backdoor dealings between political and commercial interest.
It has relevance to us; in particular how our television is being taken over by Murdoch-owned Sky, with the demise of TV7 and a hands-off approach from successive National Ministers of Broadcasting. More to come on this.