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Hunt 'great news' text to Murdoch
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt sent a "great news" message to James Murdoch on the day he was given responsibility for media competition issues, he told the inquiry into press standards.
Details of the text - sent shortly before 1pm on December 21 2010 - emerged as Mr Hunt gave evidence at the Leveson Inquiry in London.
The message was one of a number sent by Mr Hunt to Mr Murdoch, inquiry chairman Lord Justice Leveson heard. It read: "Great news on Brussels just Ofcom to go."
Downing Street announced that responsibility for media competition and policy issues was passing to Mr Hunt shortly before 6pm on December 21.
Mr Hunt was asked by the barrister representing Lord Justice Leveson if he would have sent the text at 4.58pm on that day. He replied: "No, I don't think I would."
Prime Minister David Cameron ruled that responsibility for media policy and competition would pass to Mr Hunt from Business Secretary Vince Cable.
He made the move after Mr Cable claimed to have "declared war" on the News Corporation media empire run by James Murdoch's father Rupert. The Prime Minister ruled that Mr Cable would play no further role in News Corp's bid to take a majority stake in broadcaster BSkyB.
The inquiry saw a slew of messages sent by Mr Hunt shortly after Mr Cable's comments to undercover reporters that he had "declared war" on Rupert Murdoch became public. Mr Hunt also swapped text messages with Chancellor George Osborne.
Timed at 4.08pm, the Culture Secretary's message to Mr Osborne read: "Could we chat about Murdoch Sky bid? I am seriously worried we are going to screw this up. Jeremy." He immediately sent a second, saying: "Just been called by James M. His lawyers are meeting now and saying it calls into question legitimacy of whole process from beginning. "acute bias" etc."
At 4.58pm, with the formal appointment of Mr Hunt to take over examination of the takeover bid to be announced within the hour, the Chancellor replied by text to Mr Hunt: "I hope you like the solution."