Parliamentary standards commissioner Sir John Lyon launched the inquiry after a Labour MP complained over meetings organised by private companies between July 2009 and March 2010.
Labour MP Steve McCabe’s complaint said: “Edward Vaizey recorded a number of sponsorships, worth a total of £27,418.31 from eight creative industry organisations, recording in the Register of Interests that each of these donations was for a ‘networking event to enable the Conservative frontbench team (Ed Vaizey and Jeremy Hunt) to meet sector leaders from the arts and creative industries’.
“Yet although Mr Vaizey says that Mr Hunt was a beneficiary of these donations, Mr Hunt did not declare any of them in his own entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.”
Labour has demanded that Hunt resign over an “accumulation of evidence” that he was too close to Rupert Murdoch’s News International during the time he was overseeing the company’s bid to take over broadcaster BSkyB.
But Hunt criticised the claims, saying he behaved with “integrity”.
Hunt’s former special adviser, Adam Smith, and News Corp’s chief lobbyist, Fred Michel, are also to appear before the Leveson Inquiry by the end of the month to give evidence on how the Culture Secretary’s office fed inside information to Murdoch executives during the BSkyB takover.