Rupert Murdoch is a step closer to owning BSkyB after the government accept his proposal to protect Sky News' independence following concerns over media plurality.

But Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that there will be a further week of public consultation about the bid – the public have until July 8 to make their views known.

After that, Hunt will approve the bid or refer it to the Competition Commission.

More than 40,000 people expressed their views during the initial consultation, but Hunt said that none of the responses offered strong enough evidence to block the deal.

"I am aware of the huge interest in the proposed merger and I am grateful to those who responded to the consultation," said Mr Hunt.

New Corp already own 39 per cent of BSkyB but Murdoch wants to buy the rest.