News In Depth
Call for Culture Secretary to quit
Labour has called on Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to resign following claims that he backed News Corporation's bid to take over BSkyB and leaked inside information to the media giant.
The Leveson Inquiry heard that News Corp's director of public affairs Frederic Michel sent a series of emails to James Murdoch and other executives revealing Mr Hunt's thoughts about the progress of the controversial takeover plans.
Raising a point of order in the Commons, deputy Labour leader and shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman said Mr Hunt's conduct had fallen "woefully short" of the standard expected.
She called on him to apologise to the Commons and resign from David Cameron's Cabinet.
Ms Harman said: "The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport assured the House that in respect of the News Corp bid for BSkyB that he was acting, as Secretary of State, in a quasi-judicial capacity and, above all, in a way that was impartial and fair.
"In view of the evidence that has been adduced before the Leveson Inquiry today it appears that the Secretary of State has fallen woefully short of the standards expected by his office and by the public interest.
"I believe, on a point of order, that the right thing for the Secretary of State to do would be to come to this House to offer an apology and to tender his resignation."
Labour former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw demanded Mr Cameron also appear before MPs.
Raising a Commons point of order, Mr Bradshaw said: "Given that on July 20 last year it was the Culture Secretary himself who said that any conversations the Prime Minister had with James Murdoch were irrelevant specifically because he, the Culture Secretary, was taking this decision in a quasi-judicial way, isn't it paramount that the Prime Minister also comes to this House to correct the record at the earliest opportunity?"