Well the Leveson enquiry certainly went up a few gears today. It must’ve done, as Russell Brand attending a select committee (a rare crossover between pop culture and politics) will barely get a mention in tomorrow’s papers. They will be all Hunt.
Brace yourselves for some truly dreadful puns.
JH – as he shall perhaps now forever be known – saw a rapid shortening of his political life expectancy today. He woke up as the potential next Health Secretary, he left his department today as a political dead man walking, running away from Sky News. Unedifying, yes, but completely understandable. If even a fraction of these emails prove to be even partially accurate, the Hunt is toast. He’s been described as a News International cheerleader, but the emails read worse that that. He comes across as a News International toady, keen to please – and help.
His role demanded impartiality. He must’ve known what that meant, especially after Vince Cable was stripped of the same powers over his own inability to be impartial.
Yet it also became clear today that just two days after Cable was embarrassingly hauled over the coals and forced to give up his BSkyB role (which led to Hunt’s appointment), David Cameron was meeting James Murdoch for a cosy pre-Christmas dinner round at Rebekah Brooks’ house. Murdoch says the issue of the BSkyB takeover was raised. And what else could they have been discussing but Hunt’s appointment? It was, and I really can’t stress this enough, only two days after Cable had handed the powers to Hunt.
Thus far, there is no suggestion of impropriety on the behalf of the Prime Minister. Cameron has stressed before that he has purposefully been kept out of discussions on the takeover bid. Hunt alone was meant to be handling things. Yet Cameron will still be expected to account for what he knew and when. Jeremy Hunt’s career looks like it’s coming to a close today. This is a big story, but for it to go any further – it will need to travel up the political ladder. What did Cameron know? Perhaps nothing. But his staff aren’t great at getting a story straight. Even on trivial things. In the past they have said that Cameron was “not been involved in any of the discussions about BSkyB”. Today James Murdoch says that they did discuss BSkyB.
If that needs any “clarification”, then this will be a huge story indeed…