Hunt is currently giving evidence under oath at the inquiry, and has so far made a string of admissions about his contact with the Murdochs throughout the takeover process.

On the day that business secretary Vince Cable was removed from presiding over the £8bn bid – and just before Hunt was put in charge – he texted James Murdoch about the takeover passing a Brussels competition regulation:  “Great and congrats on Brussels. Just Ofcom to go”.

Hunt also conceded that he should not have had a telephone call with James Murdoch without an official listening to take notes.

He also admitted that he had been  “broadly sympathetic” to the bid from the beginning, because he could not see a major media plurality problem.

It was also revealed that, upon Cable’s removal from the process, chancellor George Osborne told Hunt “I hope you like solution!”.

Hunt has also been questioned over why he had a telephone call with James Murdoch after his departmental lawyers told him: “we would recommend that you do not have any external discussions on the BSkyB media merger nor write to (Cable) about it”.

When pressed by Lord Justice Leveson on the matter, Hunt replied: “I didn’t interpret [the legal advice] to mean that I could not be in touch with people in the industry that I was responsible for and understand the issues around a merger that was the biggest merger the media industry had ever seen and on which thousands of jobs depended.”

Image: Getty

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