Full scale of Murdoch executives' ministerial meetings revealed

Ministers met frequently with Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and other News International executives
Ministers met frequently with Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and other News International executives. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

By politics.co.uk staff

The full extent of the Murdochs' meetings with Cabinet ministers has been published by the coalition for the first time.

Chancellor George Osborne met News International executives on 16 occasions - nearly a third of the meetings he had with news organisations since the general election.

At least one meeting took place when responsibility was taken from Vince Cable for the BSkyB bid.

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, who was tasked with the quasi-judicial responsibility of ruling on whether the Murdochs' £10 billion bid takeover bid of broadcaster BSkyB should go ahead, met twice with James Murdoch in January 2011 to "set out the process" around the merger.

Education secretary Michael Gove met Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, who appeared before the Commons' culture, media and sport committee last week, 21 times.

Tory party chairman Sayeeda Warsi had dinner with 14 News International executives in October 2010.

Ministers are releasing details of their meetings with media organisations after prime minister David Cameron called for more transparency.

The prime minister, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband have already released details of their meetings with the Murdochs and other media figures.

Mr Cameron is amending the ministerial code to require all Cabinet-level ministers to publish all meetings with senior media figures on a quarterly basis.

"The government will be open about its links with the media," the amended code reads.

"All meetings with newspaper and other media proprietors, editors and senior executives will be published quarterly regardless of the purpose of the meeting."


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