Jeremy Hunt’s get-out-of-gaol card

As I write, the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt is wriggling on an exquisitely sharp hook. He has to find a way of stopping the Digger’s take-over of BSkyB without triggering a very expensive lawsuit from News Corporation. It may be simpler than he thinks. Apart altogether from the question of whether anyone involved with the Digger is a “fit and proper” person to run a broadcasting company, there is the fact that his decision to approve the BSkYB takeover was apparently based entirely on “assurances” received from News Corp about what would happen to Sky News. Given what we now know about the way News International has concealed information from the police, misled Parliament and possible obstructed the course of justice, Hunt could easily — and plausibly — maintain that no assurances from such a source can be taken seriously.