As Jeremy Hunt faces mounting questions over his relationship with the Murdoch empire, it’s worth repeating a bit of gossip I first related 16 months ago when this blog was published in another place.

In the summer of 2010, just after assuming office, Hunt had a meeting with his officials at the Culture and Media department (DCMS) to talk through his plans for broadcasting.

Hunt ended the meeting by announcing: “Now, I must just see what James thinks about all this.”

His civil servants were shocked.  By “James” they all assumed the culture secretary meant James Murdoch.

And Hunt did indeed mean Murdoch, I was told.

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I was subsequently assured that Hunt was merely teasing his departmental civil servants.  They were wary about whether their new Conservative ministers (in a department with no Lib Dems) were too close to News Corp, and had allowed policy to be dictated by the Murdochs.

Now I’m starting to wonder, though, if Hunt really was teasing.

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