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UK minister will disclose emails on Murdoch TV bid

Hunt has been under pressure since the disclosure of 163 emails sent by News Corp lobbyist Frederic Michel about his contacts with Hunt’s office,mainly with special adviser Adam Smith,who resigned Wednesday.

Written by Associated Press | London | Published: April 28, 2012 1:10:54 am

Pressing to save his job,Britain’s culture secretary said Friday he will disclose all the texts and emails he sent to a special adviser who resigned amid questions over too-close contacts between the government and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Minister Jeremy Hunt said he would give the material to the media ethics inquiry led by Lord Justice Brian Leveson. News Corp was seeking Hunt’s permission to take over a rival broadcaster.

Hunt has been under pressure since the disclosure of 163 emails sent by News Corp lobbyist Frederic Michel about his contacts with Hunt’s office,mainly with special adviser Adam Smith,who resigned Wednesday.

Hunt was responsible for deciding whether News Corp would be allowed to take full control of British Sky Broadcasting,in which it holds a 39 percent stake. Hunt was supposed to be acting as an impartial judge,but Michel’s e-mails portrayed the minister,or his office,as leaking sensitive information and supporting the News Corp case.

“I will hand over all my private texts and emails to my special adviser to the Leveson Inquiry and I am confident that they will vindicate the position that I handled the BSkyB merger process with total integrity,’’ Hunt said.

In one email to James Murdoch,Michel reported that Hunt had asked for help to “find as many legal errors as we can’’ in a regulator’s report that raised issues about the proposed takeover.

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