James Murdoch gives revealing details at Leveson Inquiry

James Murdoch has been testifying before the Leveson Inquiry today which is looking into UK media culture, practices and ethics.

It has been revealed via a number of emails that News Corporation was in close contact with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and officials from the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) at the time News Corp wanted to take full control of BSkyB.

News Corp currently own 39% of BSkyB but in 2010 they launched a takeover bid in order to have full control. This was dropped in July 2011 following the phone-hacking revelations at News of the World.
Emails show that James Murdoch’s head of public affairs Fred Michel had been in contact with senior advisors to Hunt. It was revealed that an email was sent to Murdoch from Hunt’s advisor saying that he believed the UK government would be supportive of the bidding process.
Prime Minister David Cameron spoke ‘briefly’ about the BSkyB bid with James Murdoch just two days after Vince Cable was removed from overseeing the bid in December 2010. The ‘brief discussion’ occurred at the home of Rebekah Brooks, who was chief executive officer of News International at the time. Chancellor George Osborne also had one discussion about the bid.
On the phone-hacking saga, which led to the Leveson Inquiry being set up, Murdoch said he ‘stood by’ his testimony he gave last year that he never saw an email which stated that hacking was widespread. Murdoch told the Media Select Committee last year that he was unaware of the scale of the wrongdoing.
His father, Rupert Murdoch is due to give evidence tomorrow.