MPs reject Labour motion on Hunt


British MPs yesterday voted down a Labour demand for culture secretary Jeremy Hunt to be referred to the prime minister’s independent adviser on ministerial standards for investigation over his handling of News Corporation’s bid to buy satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

Despite Nick Clegg’s decision that Liberal Democrat MPs would abstain, Conservatives easily saw off the challenge by a majority of 290 to 252.

The vote came after David Cameron told MPs that his adviser, Sir Alex Allan, had written to him to say that he could not “usefully add to the facts” in the Hunt case, not covered by the Leveson Inquiry into media standards.

But Labour dismissed Mr Cameron’s and said that the prime minister’s judgment in appointing Mr Hunt to a quasi-judicial role in the BSkyB bid was in question. “The reality is this – everyone knows it was the prime minister who decided to appoint the culture secretary to oversee the bid and the prime minister who is clinging on to him,” said Labour leader Ed Miliband. – (PA)