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24 May 2012updated 26 Sep 2015 6:47pm

Adam Smith, Frederic Michel at Leveson: 5 things we learned

Including 1000 texts between DCMS and News Corp.

By Harriet Williams

  1. David Cameron knew Jeremy Hunt was pro-BSkyB before he gave the Department of Culture, Media and Sport control of the bid, after taking it off Vince Cable because he was too biased.
  2. Jeremy Hunt isn’t a fan of the Guardian – he said in a memo to the Prime Minister that it would be “totally wrong to cave into the [BBC], Channel 4, Guardian line”, who were opposing the BSkyB bid because it would create an enormous media conglomerate with huge amounts of power.
  3. James Murdoch wanted to “repeat what his father did at Wapping”, over the BSkyB bid. In the 1980s, Rupert Murdoch was allowed to buy the Times and the Sunday Times after a secret meeting at Chequers with Margaret Thatcher. He then broke the print unions by moving his newspaper offices to Wapping, where staff crossed picket lines with the help of police.
  4. Frédéric Michel makes very silly jokes in his texts. He apologised for his quip that receiving information from Jeremy Hunt’s office was “absolutely illegal >!” saying “I apologise if my texts are too jokey sometimes”
  5. Adam Smith is a keen texter – but only to some people. He sent 257 texts to Frederic Michel – of 1000 texts exchanged between the department of culture, media and sport and News Corporation – and none to competitors.
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