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News Corp. phone-hacking inquiry: 8 names you need to know

- Staff writer

Britain's Jeremy Hunt, Minister for Culture, Media & Sport, leaves his office in central London, Tuesday, April 24, 2012. (Olivia Harris/Reuters)

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt is the current culture secretary in David Cameron’s government, and was responsible for approving News Corp.’s attempt to purchase controlling shares of BSkyB in 2010-11. But April 24 testimony revealed the depth and frequency of Mr. Hunt’s contact with Murdoch and News Corp. even as the deal was being examined by the government.

The testimony underscored that Hunt’s office, often through his adviser Alex Smith, was in regular contact with Frederic Michel, News Corp.’s PR chief, via email. Those emails showed Hunt was predisposed to approve the BSkyB purchase before he was appointed to judge the takeover, and he appeared to regularly communicate the status of his decision to Mr. Michel.

According to the Telegraph, “The Culture Secretary also mentioned on his website that he is ‘like all good Conservatives, … a cheer leader for Rupert Murdoch's contribution’ to the media industry.”

The general consensus among British media observers is that Hunt has been severely politically damaged by testimony given on April 24, and may be forced to resign. The prime minister’s office gave Hunt a vote of confidence the same day, however.

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