24/04/2012 Newsnight


24/04/2012

Emily Maitlis has the story of the Murdoch empire's secret e-mails that have put the political career of the culture secretary in doubt.


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Did Jeremy Hunt fly too close to the Sun? Labour calls for the

:00:11.:00:14.

Culture Secretary to step down, saying he gave News Corp executives

:00:14.:00:19.

highly sensitive information on the takeover of BSkyB. The Secretary of

:00:19.:00:25.

State refuses to go and insists he's done nothing wrong. Now isn't

:00:25.:00:30.

that time for knee-jerk reactions. We had evidence presented today

:00:30.:00:33.

that alleged meetings and conversations that simply did not

:00:33.:00:39.

happen. Did James Murdoch intend to create havoc at the heart of

:00:39.:00:42.

government? And can Jeremy Hunt stay in his job? Allegra and Paul

:00:42.:00:46.

have some answers. Jeremy Hunt's survival depends on a strategy of

:00:46.:00:50.

flat denial of what these emails say. He's not someone the Cameron

:00:50.:00:54.

project intends to lose. But he knows he must put his side of the

:00:54.:01:00.

story sooner rather than later. Labour's deputy leader goes head-

:01:00.:01:02.

to-head with a defender of the Culture Secretary. And we'll be

:01:02.:01:05.

asking the phone-hacked George Galloway, Neville Thurlbeck - he of

:01:05.:01:08.

the For Neville emails - and Labour peer Lord Puttnam what to make of

:01:08.:01:11.

the relationship between press and politicians. Also tonight: The

:01:11.:01:14.

teenage victims of domestic violence. How can one in four be

:01:14.:01:23.

abused by their partners? He threw a microwave at my head. I was left

:01:23.:01:28.

in a wheelchair. I walk up and I was at the other end of her room

:01:28.:01:38.
:01:38.:01:42.

and Heidi -- and he was stamping on me. Good evening. Jeremy Hunt's own

:01:42.:01:45.

website proclaimed him a cheerleader for Murdoch. He may be

:01:45.:01:50.

feeling distinctly less of one this evening. Today, the Leveson Enquiry

:01:50.:01:55.

took a turn no one had expected. James Murdoch appeared to drop the

:01:55.:01:58.

Government into a whole new level of trouble with allegations of a

:01:58.:02:01.

chain of emails and text messages that link the Culture Secretary

:02:01.:02:04.

with News Corporation over the issue of the takeover of BskyB. --

:02:04.:02:06.

BSkyB. Jeremy Hunt insists he's done nothing wrong and wants to

:02:07.:02:09.

bring forward his own appearance at Leveson to clear his name. This

:02:09.:02:12.

evening, we'll be asking if the controversy leads to the very top

:02:13.:02:15.

of government. First, here's David Grossman with a report containing

:02:15.:02:21.

some very strong language. James Murdoch giving evidence, this time

:02:21.:02:26.

to the levees inquiry and this time... Eyes were to God that the

:02:26.:02:31.

evidence shall be the truth. Although he was asked about phone-

:02:31.:02:36.

hacking, the sensational, jaw- dropping part of the testimony had

:02:36.:02:41.

to do with the bid to take over BSkyB. What we got was this

:02:41.:02:47.

extraordinary cache of e-mails, over 160 pages. Detailing an

:02:47.:02:52.

amazing level of contact between the government and the heart of the

:02:52.:02:58.

Murdoch empire and the specifics of the BSkyB bid. They were mostly

:02:58.:03:01.

written by Frederic de Shell, he was at the time the Director of

:03:01.:03:11.

Public Affairs for News Corporation in Europe. 24th January,

:03:11.:03:14.

confidential, statement, manage to get some information on the plans

:03:14.:03:22.

for tomorrow. Although absolutely illegal. What do you make of that?

:03:22.:03:31.

I thought it was a joke, that little!, it is winking, it's a joke.

:03:31.:03:35.

Initially, the bid was being overseen by the Business Secretary

:03:35.:03:40.

and he appeared to be enthusiastic. But all the time there was contact

:03:40.:03:45.

with Jeremy Hunt and his team at Culture, Media and Sport. When on

:03:45.:03:52.

15th September, the BBC's Robert Peston said that Vince Cable was

:03:52.:03:57.

likely to contravene in the bed, Fred Michelle sends an e-mail

:03:58.:04:03.

saying... Jeremy Hunt isn't aware and thinks it isn't credible. He is

:04:03.:04:07.

checking out. Much was made at the inquiry of an article that Mr Hunt

:04:07.:04:13.

has on his website describing him as, like all good Conservatives,

:04:13.:04:16.

actually do for her Rupert Murdoch's contribution to the

:04:16.:04:22.

health of British television. way you did communicate was three

:04:22.:04:27.

you're chillier, Mr Hunt, to find out what was happening? -- through

:04:27.:04:33.

you're a cheerleader. Mr Michel is a diligent executive and he

:04:33.:04:36.

communicated with many people across the spectrum, as is

:04:36.:04:40.

evidenced in this. By this stage there was concern that Vince Cable

:04:40.:04:44.

was becoming implacably opposed to the bed so they tried other parts

:04:45.:04:48.

of the government to get intelligence. One conversation with

:04:48.:04:53.

Rupert Harrison, who was and is an adviser to George Osborne, the

:04:53.:04:58.

Chancellor. Meeting of the report Harrison, who works with George,

:04:58.:05:02.

confirmed tensions in the Coalition around Vince Cable and his current

:05:02.:05:05.

policy positions. He made a political decision, probably

:05:05.:05:10.

without even reading the legal advice. At the same time, Jeremy

:05:10.:05:13.

Hunt, the Culture Secretary, had been told by his civil servants

:05:14.:05:20.

that he should no longer have any contact with News Corporation.

:05:21.:05:25.

Although an e-mail from Mr Michel to the Mr Murdoch suggested that a

:05:25.:05:29.

mobile phone conversation might be a lull. Your reply, for one reply

:05:29.:05:39.

which might be relevant... 12:02pm. The early afternoon. You must be

:05:39.:05:44.

joking, I will text in and find some time. You were angry? By was

:05:44.:05:52.

displeased. On 21st December, the bombshell. Vince Cable is removed

:05:52.:05:55.

from overseeing the BSkyB bid after he is caught telling undercover

:05:55.:06:00.

reporters that he has declared war on Rupert Murdoch and the job has

:06:00.:06:05.

given to Jeremy Hunt. On Christmas Eve, Frederick Michelle e-mails

:06:05.:06:09.

James Murdoch, just Spock, he was happy for me to be the point of

:06:09.:06:13.

contact with him at and Adam on behalf of James Murdoch going

:06:13.:06:19.

forward. Very important to avoid giving those against any

:06:19.:06:23.

opportunity to attack the fairness. This had gone through January and a

:06:23.:06:29.

the 23rd, Frederick writes another e-mail. Just spoke to to a hitch,

:06:29.:06:34.

we will report separately. There is an extraordinary discussion about

:06:34.:06:38.

what Jeremy Hunt is planning in terms of the undertakings been Loew

:06:38.:06:42.

of this. These were the promises that News Corporation offered in

:06:42.:06:47.

terms of returning for the bid has not been reported to the

:06:47.:06:51.

Competition Commission. Once he announces publicly that he has a

:06:51.:06:55.

strong undertaking, it is almost game over for the opposition and in

:06:55.:07:02.

another e-mail, he gives James Hunt was planning to go to

:07:02.:07:07.

Parliament in two days. I have a very constructive conversation, he

:07:07.:07:11.

is keen for me to work with his team on the statement during the

:07:11.:07:14.

course of tomorrow and offers some possible language. That is really

:07:14.:07:21.

good is. He is it appropriate that here you are getting the

:07:21.:07:26.

confidential information as to what is going on a a high level in

:07:26.:07:35.

government? I think... I think... What I was concerned with is the

:07:35.:07:40.

substance of what was being CT it and not necessarily the Channel.

:07:40.:07:44.

One interesting point to note in all of this, in his witness

:07:44.:07:48.

statement to the inquiry, Frederick Michelle says that when he refers

:07:48.:07:51.

to these e-mails to contacts and conversations with Jeremy Hunt, he

:07:51.:07:59.

never actually had any contact. It was with his advisers. So... Is

:07:59.:08:02.

this actually evidence of a man who has been caught out trying to

:08:02.:08:10.

impress his bus with influence and contact? Jeremy Hunt tonight says

:08:10.:08:13.

that he is keen to show that is what happened and he was to give

:08:14.:08:19.

his evidence as soon as possible. We have evidence for today that

:08:19.:08:22.

alleged meetings with me that did not happen and we need to get to

:08:22.:08:26.

the bottom of that and rather than jumping on a political bandwagon,

:08:26.:08:31.

what the public its to hear is what Lord Justice Levison himself thinks

:08:31.:08:35.

after he has heard all the evidence. And there is plenty more evidence

:08:35.:08:40.

to come tomorrow. It could be just as explosive. It is the turn of

:08:40.:08:47.

Rupert Murdoch. David Grossman. With me now, our political editor,

:08:47.:08:51.

Allegra Stratton, and our economics editor, Paul Mason. How much

:08:51.:08:54.

trouble is Jeremy Hunt in? They are confident that he will stay, they

:08:55.:08:58.

have tried to bring forward his appearance so that he can put his

:08:58.:09:02.

own side of the argument and in that, there is a sense that he

:09:02.:09:06.

should be left alone until he can put his side and there is some

:09:06.:09:10.

suggestion that Levison isn't letting him bring forward his case

:09:10.:09:14.

so he might have a window where it is hanging in the air and they are

:09:14.:09:20.

confident because we have this Walter Mitty? As to what extent

:09:20.:09:26.

either Frederick Michelle or Adam Smith, the interlocutor for

:09:26.:09:29.

Michelle, with Jeremy Hunt, to what extent are they both acting with

:09:30.:09:38.

their bosses knowledge? That is important. To what extent does

:09:38.:09:41.

Frederick Michel inflate the information he has? The example

:09:41.:09:44.

given around Westminster today is that early in the process he

:09:45.:09:48.

asserts that Vince Cable is minded to support the bid and anybody who

:09:48.:09:53.

knows Vince Cable knows that isn't the correct interpretation of Vince

:09:53.:09:57.

Cable and Jeremy Hunt says that if you look at that, what is done to

:09:57.:10:01.

other evidence? Jeremy Hunt is incredibly important to the Cameron

:10:01.:10:05.

project and are seen as for the market, up until now, and many in

:10:05.:10:10.

the future a very safe pair of hands. Perhaps a very famous

:10:10.:10:15.

epithet! It is curious that we're not talking about James Murdoch

:10:15.:10:19.

principally tonight. How do you think he came out of this? Prior to

:10:19.:10:23.

this, we were asking, what do we think the Murdoch family strategy

:10:23.:10:29.

is? This is a big week. We all know that the strategy is to bring down

:10:29.:10:34.

one-on-one ministers in this Government because despite that

:10:34.:10:38.

generally self-effacing approach, I was not doing anything untoward,

:10:38.:10:41.

the effect is to create the impression, through evidence,

:10:41.:10:46.

primarily out of the mouth of the lieutenant of James Murdoch, that

:10:46.:10:52.

there was untoward and incredible access for that corporation to the

:10:52.:10:58.

man who was supposed to take an objective decision. How ironic that

:10:58.:11:00.

the Levison inquiry was set up because there was a feeling that

:11:00.:11:05.

the Murdoch press was able to drop politicians in it and had a dossier

:11:05.:11:11.

on them and could control politics? And here, through the platform of

:11:11.:11:15.

the Nelson Inquiry, we have the destruction of a minister's career.

:11:15.:11:23.

We are only at the beginning of this process because they are

:11:23.:11:27.

members of the Armed Forces listed and members of the intelligence

:11:27.:11:29.

service and maybe the royal household that will be named as

:11:29.:11:34.

having been paid by the Murdoch family but this started with an

:11:34.:11:37.

Minister and nobody expected this level of evidence to be presented

:11:37.:11:43.

and as you said, he has to show that it is wrong. News Corp did

:11:43.:11:48.

quite well? Yes, if you were a shareholder, he would say that not

:11:48.:11:52.

only in James performance and what he said, I have batted for this

:11:52.:11:55.

corporation, I took the elbow of the Prime Minister at Christmas and

:11:55.:12:01.

asked him briefly to bear in mind our problems. A is a school of

:12:01.:12:05.

thought that this is contrary to that, is this the worst and the

:12:05.:12:13.

earliest? The idea that the Prime Minister is due to come soon. This

:12:13.:12:16.

is a man alongside Vince Cable he was involved in the policy

:12:16.:12:20.

implications of this and what could come next are suggestions of crime

:12:20.:12:23.

in a sand being too close but not suggestions of policy being

:12:23.:12:33.

affected. -- implications of grime. The focus is on Jeremy Hunt tonight.

:12:33.:12:39.

And a lot of politicians... A huge number of people involved. It is

:12:39.:12:45.

incredibly sticky. Anybody in Westminster... Frederick Michelle

:12:45.:12:48.

was doing a very good job getting around all these people but there

:12:48.:12:53.

is another individual drag into this, Alex Salmond, and today it

:12:53.:12:58.

wasn't the same testimony that he has said that in return for support

:12:58.:13:01.

from newspapers in Scotland he would also helped Jeremy Hunt get

:13:01.:13:06.

involved in the bid for BSkyB. Thank you both very much. We

:13:06.:13:10.

invited the Government tonight but they declined. We can talk to the

:13:10.:13:15.

Labour deputy leader and shadow culture secretary, Harriet Harman.

:13:15.:13:20.

And fighting for the conservative corner, Jacob Rees Mogg. Welcome to

:13:20.:13:26.

both of you. The entry on the Kapadia for Jeremy Hunt was changed

:13:26.:13:34.

today to say that he had resigned. Was that you? Certainly not. He did

:13:34.:13:37.

not pause in calling for his resignation. Would not have been

:13:37.:13:43.

better to wait for his response? The position is, if you are the

:13:43.:13:46.

Secretary of State with responsibility for making a

:13:46.:13:50.

decision which is a very important commercial decision which also has

:13:50.:13:57.

big implications for the landscape across the media, you have to ask

:13:57.:14:01.

in a quiz a judicial capacity so do not think like a politician, think

:14:01.:14:06.

like a judge and be impartial. It is quite evident that although he

:14:06.:14:14.

promised to act with impartiality and fairness, Jeremy Hunt did not

:14:14.:14:16.

actually fulfilled the responsibilities of his office.

:14:16.:14:20.

Both you and Ed Miliband rushed to the stump, what of this is only a

:14:20.:14:23.

partial picture of what happened. We have not even heard his side of

:14:23.:14:30.

the story. If you look at the e- mails at revising Rupert Murdoch,

:14:30.:14:35.

before Jeremy Hunt did things, in great detail, what he was going to

:14:35.:14:41.

do and what he was going to say was actually played out. If you look at

:14:41.:14:47.

the email on 24th January, in minute detail, it goes into exactly

:14:47.:14:51.

what Jeremy Hunt is going to say to the House of Commons in order to

:14:51.:14:55.

justify rejecting the proposal by OFCOM that the bid should go to the

:14:55.:15:01.

Competition Commission. Either Frederick Michelle is clairvoyant

:15:01.:15:04.

and psychic and can work out exactly what Jeremy Hunt will do

:15:04.:15:11.

the next day and tell his bus, James Murdoch, or else he was

:15:12.:15:17.

informed on Jeremy Hunt's behalf. It is quite clear that he knew in

:15:17.:15:20.

advance what was going on. The other thing is that you cannot say

:15:20.:15:25.

you are acting impartially if you are giving information to one side

:15:25.:15:34.

You don't buy this is the head of PR at News International, whatever,

:15:34.:15:39.

bigging up his role to his bosses? Well, it's not credible to think he

:15:39.:15:44.

was not given information when he was able to predict, before it has

:15:44.:15:49.

happened, exactly, including the words, that Jeremy Hunt would be

:15:49.:15:53.

using, having said that he discussed what the words were that

:15:53.:15:58.

Jeremy Hunt should use to the House and then uses those words. This is

:15:58.:16:06.

of great seriousness. You have to - Let's look from the beginning.

:16:06.:16:09.

First, Jeremy Hunt is not the minister in charge. At which point

:16:09.:16:13.

he's perfectly entitled to see members of the family and have a

:16:13.:16:17.

private view. He then becomes the minister in charge, at which point

:16:17.:16:21.

he won't meet with James Murdoch or other members of the family. The

:16:21.:16:25.

phone call is a suggested call. It is not one that we are told that he

:16:25.:16:32.

had. Hold on. We are told by this Frederic Michel man that JH doesn't

:16:32.:16:37.

mean Mr Hunt. It means anybody in Mr Hunt's office and the company

:16:37.:16:43.

News Corp is in negotiations with the Government about an jund taking

:16:43.:16:48.

in lieu and therefore it -- jund taking in lieu, therefore it has to

:16:48.:16:58.
:16:58.:17:00.

have a response so disagreement can be reached. What about the e-mails,

:17:00.:17:06.

"He wanted Mr Murdoch to understand he wanted to build political

:17:06.:17:11.

cover."? I have one, "Vince Cable call went very well. Cable said he

:17:11.:17:15.

was coming as planned tomorrow evening. Cable appreciated." We all

:17:15.:17:18.

know that the President of the board of trade loathed Rupert

:17:18.:17:24.

Murdoch. He wanted to block the bid and yet this Frederic Michel is

:17:24.:17:29.

boasting to his bosses that Cable is a supporter of Murdoch. He is a

:17:29.:17:38.

PR man, who uses a -- emoticons and is not credible. How do you explain

:17:38.:17:42.

the point that the words he anticipated came out? They were in

:17:42.:17:44.

a negotiation about the undertakings in lieu. If the

:17:44.:17:50.

Government is shown to have leaked, that will not be unique to this

:17:50.:17:55.

Government. When you are acting in a quasijudicial capacity it's a

:17:55.:17:59.

very different standard of responsibility you accept and I

:17:59.:18:03.

think Jeremy Hunt, because he had been, as you say, involved in the

:18:03.:18:07.

discussions with James Murdoch, when he didn't have responsibility

:18:07.:18:14.

for the decision, when Vince Cable was not able to carry on with

:18:14.:18:18.

responsibility, Jeremy Hunt should have said, "I can't be impartial

:18:18.:18:21.

and act in a quasijudicial way, because everybody knows I've

:18:21.:18:25.

committed myself to this bid. Somebody else will have to do it."

:18:25.:18:30.

Your lot must be furious they were thrown out and another bias comes

:18:30.:18:36.

along? I don't think there was any bias once Jeremy Hunt took over in

:18:36.:18:40.

the quasijudicial role. I think from that point he behaved

:18:40.:18:46.

rigorously. Hold on. He called it the office -- called in Ofcom and

:18:46.:18:49.

the Office of Fair Trading. He didn't have to do that. He took

:18:49.:18:53.

independent advice throughout the process. His behaviour was so above

:18:53.:18:56.

board that it was painfully honest. Meanwhile, you have David Cameron

:18:56.:19:02.

who said he hadn't been involved in any of this process at a dinner

:19:02.:19:07.

party just after Jeremy Hunt took over admitting that he discussed it.

:19:07.:19:11.

It's completely irrelevant. Why? Because the minister was making the

:19:11.:19:17.

What was David Cameron denying he had been involved if he was having

:19:17.:19:22.

that chat? He wasn't involved in the decision. It was being made

:19:22.:19:26.

which the Prime Minister could not constitutionally intervene in.

:19:26.:19:28.

Rupert Murdoch would have had dinner with the Queen for all it

:19:28.:19:33.

would have mattered, because the decision was being made by the sos

:19:33.:19:37.

for culture. You are completely happy -- the Secretary of State for

:19:37.:19:44.

culture. So you are happy with the relationship over this incredibly

:19:44.:19:54.
:19:54.:19:57.

Yes. I don't think it is acceptable to say you will be operating in qas

:19:57.:20:01.

say juddaigs manner, collude with the other side about the

:20:01.:20:04.

information you give in parliament, give the information to one side

:20:04.:20:07.

before parliament, and take on that responsibility, when you have

:20:07.:20:11.

already committed yourself to the same objective as the bid. I think

:20:11.:20:14.

that really, instead of David Cameron saying he's done absolutely

:20:14.:20:17.

the right thing, he should be upholding high standards in public

:20:17.:20:20.

office, and saying this is different, this is not politics,

:20:20.:20:26.

this is quasi-judicial commercial decision making, and Jeremy Hunt

:20:26.:20:31.

has let his office down and should resign. Have you spoken to Jeremy

:20:31.:20:34.

Hunt? I don't know Jeremy Hunt, I'm supporting the Conservative cabinet

:20:34.:20:39.

minister, who I think has done a good, decent and proper job. Don't

:20:39.:20:43.

you worry that you are putting yourself out on a limb here, with

:20:43.:20:47.

somebody who hasn't even managed to deny the whole thing, all he has

:20:47.:20:53.

said is he wants to appear before Leveson and refers up? All we have

:20:53.:20:57.

heard is a string of allegation, they say he leaked his statement,

:20:57.:21:00.

there is no evidence of that. We knew News Corporation was in

:21:00.:21:04.

negotiations with the Government to give this undertaking. There had to

:21:04.:21:08.

be an exchange of information relating to the undertaking.

:21:08.:21:11.

Allegations are being cast around without evidence for them.

:21:11.:21:16.

Jeremy Hunt left. If in the process of this he left, would that wipe

:21:16.:21:20.

the slate clean, as far as you are concerned? I think it would uphold

:21:20.:21:26.

the important issue of people acting quasi-judicially, how will

:21:26.:21:30.

the public think the Government, in future decisions, with huge

:21:30.:21:33.

commercial implications, will act impartially, on the evidence,

:21:33.:21:38.

according to law, when Jeremy Hunt has now got to respond to a whole

:21:38.:21:41.

shrew of e-mail. Jeremy Hunt will document everything he has done, as

:21:41.:21:45.

he did in his successive statements to the Commons. We would very much

:21:45.:21:48.

like to keep you both here for the next discussion, which will broaden

:21:48.:21:52.

out a bit. As I was mention, David Cameron, it emerged today,

:21:52.:21:57.

discussed plans for the takeover at a private dinner with James Murdoch,

:21:57.:22:05.

it was heard that S NP's Alex Salmond helped with the bid. Tony

:22:05.:22:09.

Blair flew half way around the world for the relationship. What do

:22:09.:22:19.
:22:19.:22:23.

we make of the relations between these parties, are they really over.

:22:23.:22:28.

The News of the World was characterised by cavalier or

:22:28.:22:32.

swashbuckling attitude to rissnk Knowing what we know now about the

:22:32.:22:37.

culture at News of the World in 206, for example, they must have been

:22:37.:22:42.

cavalier about risk, that is matter of huge regret. Your meetings with

:22:43.:22:46.

Gordon Brown, they appear to be largely a social nature? That's

:22:46.:22:51.

correct, pretty much, I remember on the middle one, the 15th of

:22:51.:22:58.

December 2008, I don't remember, but he would have told me lots of

:22:58.:23:08.
:23:08.:23:11.

things about the economy. It was made clear to Mr Cameron, by

:23:11.:23:17.

me, that after discussions with the editor and the leadership at News

:23:17.:23:22.

International and my father, that autumn the Sun would either be

:23:22.:23:26.

endorsing the Conservative Party, or certainly, you know, moving away

:23:26.:23:29.

from its traditional, or recent support of Labour, as it had been

:23:29.:23:33.

through the summer. Yes, and this must have been

:23:33.:23:40.

welcome news to Mr Cameron, wasn't it? It seemed that way.

:23:40.:23:47.

Two days after the revelation that Mr Cable might not be approaching

:23:47.:23:51.

the BSkyB bid with an entirely open mind, if I can put it in that way.

:23:51.:23:57.

It was two days after Mr Cable had been removed from his

:23:57.:24:00.

responsibilities after showing acute bias. So the state of the bid

:24:00.:24:04.

was very much in your mind on the 23rd of December. It was, there was

:24:04.:24:07.

a big question mark about what would happen going forward, there

:24:07.:24:10.

was no discussion with Mr Cameron, other than I have detailed in my

:24:10.:24:14.

witness statement, he reiterated what he said publicly, which was

:24:14.:24:20.

the behaviour had been unacceptable. I imagine I expressed a hope that

:24:20.:24:28.

things would be dealt with in a way that was appropriate and judicial.

:24:28.:24:32.

I'm not sure you have given me an answer Mr Murdoch, a solution, that

:24:32.:24:42.
:24:42.:24:43.

is? I think it is a little above my pay grade, Sir. I doubt it!

:24:43.:24:49.

Although I have no idea about your pay grade, I certainly know mine!

:24:49.:24:53.

Jason Rees Mogg is still with us, also here the recently elected

:24:53.:25:00.

Respect MP, Galloway ga, the Labour peer, film maker and architect of

:25:00.:25:05.

Ofcom, and Neville Thurlbeck of the For Neville e-mails, working for

:25:06.:25:12.

the charity Talking2Minds. Sorry, Neville was arrested over

:25:12.:25:17.

allegations of phone hacking, he's bailed until May, for legal reasons

:25:17.:25:20.

we can't ask him about that case, for the record he denies phone

:25:20.:25:26.

hacking. I have to get that out of the way before going on with the

:25:26.:25:30.

debate, that is the wider relationship between Murdoch and

:25:30.:25:36.

politicians. It does feel like another day and another heap of man

:25:36.:25:44.

Euro-has come out of the news -- manure has come out of the News

:25:44.:25:48.

Corporation stables? If you put an organisation under the microscope

:25:48.:25:52.

of something like the Leveson Inquiry, you will find that will

:25:52.:25:55.

embarrass the company severely. Today the company has found itself

:25:55.:25:59.

in a difficult position, and Mr Hnut has found himself in an even

:25:59.:26:04.

more difficult position. Whether or not Mr Hnut is guilty of any bias

:26:04.:26:09.

is kind of by the by. He or his staff have allowed themselves to

:26:09.:26:14.

give the appearance of bias, which it has undermined the department,

:26:14.:26:19.

and what Mr Hnut does not have in his favour, is time. This thing

:26:19.:26:23.

will run very quickly, he has to get on top of it very quickly,

:26:23.:26:28.

otherwise it will form a very, very negative life force for him and the

:26:28.:26:32.

Government. Who do you think comes out of this worse? The Government,

:26:32.:26:35.

you can't really blame a capitalist company for doing everything that

:26:35.:26:41.

it could to get a bigger market share of the market that it was in.

:26:41.:26:45.

But if only we could have seen the e-mails from the Tony Blair and

:26:45.:26:49.

Gordon Brown Premiership, with the Murdochs, then we would know that

:26:49.:26:55.

both Labour and the Conservatives have been in bed with, and have not,

:26:55.:27:01.

like Neville, infamously, made their excuses and left. Have you

:27:01.:27:04.

any evidence of business deals that involved the Blair Government and

:27:04.:27:09.

the Murdochs? As you put it, Tony Blair flew half way around the

:27:09.:27:19.

world to play homage at the Murdoch king. The attendance at Chequers by

:27:19.:27:23.

Murdoch and the partners, far outstriped than under the Tory

:27:23.:27:27.

years. It is not that the Tories are not guilty, but both are guilty

:27:27.:27:33.

with being in bed with an evil, wicked empire, a stain on the

:27:33.:27:38.

country. I left my mobile in the cloakroom in case Neville Thurlbeck

:27:38.:27:42.

hacked it, because he and his fellows have been systematically

:27:42.:27:46.

corrupting the system in this country for at least 25, maybe 40

:27:46.:27:49.

years. You are a Labour peer, this is one for you, there is just as

:27:49.:27:55.

much dirt on both sides, toxicity? You use that word, it is right. We

:27:55.:28:00.

are all victims of this. I feel sorry, genuinely, for Neville, I

:28:00.:28:03.

feel sorry for a lot of the people caught up in this. We are dealing

:28:03.:28:08.

in a culture that has got progressively worse for a number of

:28:08.:28:12.

years, it is not getting bottomed out. I like Jeremy Hunt as a guy,

:28:13.:28:16.

it doesn't matter if he stays or goes f he goes politicians and

:28:16.:28:20.

politics will say, job done, next, another one comes in and off we go

:28:20.:28:24.

again. We have to bottom this out. I mention today Jacob before we

:28:24.:28:30.

went on air, I mean it sincerely, it is his generation that have to

:28:30.:28:34.

deal with this, we can't go on with this ludicrous situation. What

:28:34.:28:38.

Leveson is unravelling is a situation where this was a banana

:28:38.:28:41.

Republic, this was a joke, the bankrupt police, the corrupt press,

:28:41.:28:44.

we have corrupt politicians and it was getting worse. When will this

:28:44.:28:48.

start. Isn't it odd that you are not, you don't feel apologetic for

:28:48.:28:53.

any of this, you are defending the Culture Secretary staujly tonight

:28:53.:28:56.

and saying business is fine? -- staunchly tonight, and saying

:28:56.:29:00.

business is fine? We have to have a sense of proportion, some

:29:00.:29:02.

disgraceful things have happened, and the criminal law is working

:29:02.:29:05.

through to deal with those. It is in the nature of politics and

:29:05.:29:08.

journalism that politicians and journalists want to be close to

:29:08.:29:11.

each other. My father was invited to Chequers Bihar rolled Wilson,

:29:11.:29:19.

fat lot of use it did for Harold Wilson, as editor of the Times.

:29:19.:29:22.

Lord Salisbury wrote articles under other people's names criticising

:29:22.:29:26.

politicians in the 19th century. Politics and journalism has this

:29:26.:29:30.

relationship and it always will, but the criminal law should be

:29:30.:29:34.

upheld. Of course politicians will seek to influence journalist, the

:29:34.:29:37.

proper attitude for journalists towards politicians should be that

:29:37.:29:43.

of the dog to the lampost, and it isn't. You have favoured, or rather

:29:43.:29:48.

your father's newspaper, the Times, has favoured. You have favoured

:29:48.:29:53.

politicians, in exchange for business concession. That is

:29:53.:29:57.

corrupt, everyone watching this knows that. I think this is very

:29:57.:30:00.

niave. It assumes that just because you have lunch with somebody you

:30:00.:30:05.

then write a piece saying they are fabulous, you don't, that is not

:30:05.:30:13.

the way it works. With Alex Salmond it is there in writing. He has

:30:13.:30:17.

denied that and it is referred to the Leveson Inquiry, so that is out

:30:17.:30:23.

of the way. You have to be kaifrt with PR people. You are getting an

:30:23.:30:28.

easy ride here, you are the one a lot of this dirt should be aimed at,

:30:28.:30:31.

you have created these incredible complicated relationships between

:30:31.:30:37.

the people that you write about? There is, as we have said there is

:30:37.:30:42.

always a strong relationship between newspaper pro-priorers,

:30:42.:30:47.

journalists and -- proprietors, and politicians, there is nothing wrong

:30:47.:30:57.
:30:57.:30:59.

with that, you know. Charities and others seek to influence

:30:59.:31:03.

Governments and we accept it. When a corporation comes along with

:31:03.:31:07.

money, that isn't necessarily wrong. It becomes wrong when Government

:31:07.:31:10.

ministers become unduly influenced by that. That still remains to be

:31:10.:31:16.

seen. It has to be said that Frederic Michel, I know him, not

:31:16.:31:21.

well, but I know Frederic Michel. He's a very, very persuasive

:31:21.:31:26.

operator, we have to wonder, also, whether Frederic Michel was being,

:31:26.:31:30.

was overplaying his hand with his very demanding boss. You think he

:31:30.:31:33.

as not that credible? I'm not saying he's not that credible. What

:31:33.:31:37.

I'm saying is we have to hear what Mr Hnut has to say. Because it

:31:37.:31:45.

might Hans It -- it might transpire that Frederic Michel has been

:31:45.:31:51.

overplaying his hand to a great extent. He has admitted that the JH

:31:51.:31:54.

references can also refer to Adam Smith and members of his team.

:31:54.:31:59.

made this a priority, many years ago, you were one of the architects

:31:59.:32:06.

of media regulation, did you think we would be embroiled in this kind

:32:06.:32:11.

of taudryness? It is heard breaking, he believe when we created Ofcom we

:32:11.:32:14.

were protecting ministers from becoming embroiled in exactly this

:32:14.:32:19.

situation. They should never have touched the BSkyB deal at all?

:32:19.:32:23.

Never. What really hurts me, I put this to Jacob, is Ofcom was there

:32:24.:32:28.

to give advice. If my reading of these e-mails clear, there was

:32:28.:32:32.

every attempt by the Government to undercut and subvert what Ofcom was

:32:33.:32:37.

doing. What James Murdoch we know hates Ofcom. There is another

:32:37.:32:40.

problem Jacob has to address, why was it, when the Prime Minister did

:32:40.:32:44.

his famous speech, the bonfire of the quangos, the one he chose to

:32:44.:32:48.

pick out, was Ofcom has to be cut back. Not only has Ofcom not been

:32:48.:32:55.

cut back, but why did he choose it? Two questions to answer, the first

:32:55.:32:58.

one, is that Jeremy Hunt actually consulted Ofcom, which he didn't

:32:58.:33:02.

legally need to do. That is an important part of the bid process,

:33:02.:33:06.

and an important part of the defence of Jeremy Hunt. Ofcom

:33:06.:33:10.

regulates more than television, it also regulates telecoms, and

:33:10.:33:14.

telecoms has become so competitive that it needs much less regulatory

:33:14.:33:17.

interference than it used to need. There are savings to be made.

:33:17.:33:21.

want to move on to tomorrow, that will be a big day for Leveson. We

:33:21.:33:24.

have Rupert Murdoch, the mogul himself, appearing at the inquiry.

:33:24.:33:29.

I'm interested to know whether you think this will now be the end? Do

:33:29.:33:31.

you think the Cameron Government, possibly the Labour Government,

:33:31.:33:34.

will shut the doors on this relationship with the Murdochs?

:33:34.:33:37.

think the Murdochs will be out of the British media market before

:33:37.:33:42.

very long. I think the shareholder, the other directors, powerful

:33:42.:33:48.

people, really are at the end of their tether in all of this, I

:33:48.:33:51.

think the Murdochs will have to devest their media interests. There

:33:51.:33:57.

is no way they will be able to take over Sky TV now, and the newspapers

:33:57.:34:01.

won't make good of this too. you happy to be rid of British

:34:01.:34:04.

politicians? I make no comment on that, that is a very interesting

:34:04.:34:10.

point you make about Murdochs quitting newspapers. It is long

:34:10.:34:13.

been thought within News International that the son, James,

:34:13.:34:19.

has absolutely no interest in the newspapers. That he will devest

:34:19.:34:23.

himself of them when the time comes. That is why the Murdochs have

:34:23.:34:25.

exploded this bomb in the Government's court today.

:34:25.:34:31.

Thank you very much indeed. Over the next seven days two women

:34:31.:34:36.

will be killed by their partners or ex-partners, the group most at risk

:34:36.:34:40.

of violent relationships, according to the Director of Public

:34:40.:34:43.

Prosecutions s teenage girls. A survey by the NSPCC, found one in

:34:43.:34:48.

four teenagers has been physically abused by their partner. Currently,

:34:48.:34:51.

domestic violence relates to something that happens between

:34:51.:34:55.

adults, the Government is thinking of applying it to under 18s because

:34:55.:35:00.

of the gap in services. One young woman who experienced it first hand

:35:00.:35:05.

is Taylah Douglas, this is her story.

:35:05.:35:09.

When I first met him it was good, he was my first proper boyfriend.

:35:09.:35:19.
:35:19.:35:24.

He properly turned into a different person about two or three months

:35:24.:35:28.

into the relationship. He would call me a bitch, and call me ugly,

:35:28.:35:35.

and call me fat, he would call me a slut. He started to push me, and

:35:35.:35:43.

pull me, and he started to hit me really, like, burn me with lighters,

:35:43.:35:47.

and then it got on to hitting, punching and slapping. He told me

:35:47.:35:52.

that I couldn't go back home. He took away my phone, even if I

:35:52.:35:55.

wanted to go back, I couldn't call anyone, I had no money for train

:35:55.:36:00.

ticket. I felt isolated, I felt completely aown. I just woke up one

:36:00.:36:05.

day and -- alone. I just woke up one day and I felt different, I

:36:05.:36:08.

knew if I didn't leave it would end up in a really bad way, I didn't

:36:08.:36:13.

know if he was going to kill me or what was going to happen. The day I

:36:13.:36:17.

did escape, I didn't take anything with me, I just got out of there. I

:36:17.:36:21.

went to the council, when they first offered me housing, they

:36:21.:36:25.

offered me a bed and breakfast, which was on the same road as my

:36:25.:36:35.
:36:35.:36:42.

I had to move, all together, seven times, I went to certain hostels

:36:42.:36:46.

more than once, I moved all together several times, every time

:36:46.:36:49.

I have moved he has found me. In one of my hostels he showed up and

:36:49.:36:54.

forced his way in, and he threw a microwave at my head. He went

:36:54.:36:58.

unconscious, and I was probably unconscious for a couple of minutes,

:36:58.:37:01.

not very long, but enough to wake up and I was on the other side of

:37:01.:37:05.

the room, and he was just stamping all over me on my head, on my body,

:37:06.:37:14.

and then I kept going in and out of consciousness.

:37:14.:37:18.

The nurse said that she was going to have to contact the police, and

:37:18.:37:23.

I told her I didn't want her to, I told her I wanted to go home, and

:37:23.:37:26.

the police turned up any way. They said they were going to go to his

:37:26.:37:30.

address and find him, if they found him, arrest him. But they didn't

:37:30.:37:36.

find him, that was the end of it. Did the police offer you any other

:37:36.:37:39.

help, like counselling, social services? No they never offered me

:37:39.:37:49.
:37:49.:37:50.

anything, the police didn't offer me any sort of other help.

:37:50.:37:54.

I was never offered a refuge. you even know about it? I didn't

:37:54.:37:58.

even know what a refuge was until now. I didn't know what a refuge

:37:58.:38:07.

was. Some of the hostels I stayed in were disgusting, there were drug

:38:07.:38:12.

needles, in the bathrooms. I was living at one point inbetween a

:38:12.:38:17.

crack head and a prostitute. You are only supposed to live in

:38:17.:38:20.

emergency accommodation, which is bed and breakfast, or three months,

:38:20.:38:30.
:38:30.:38:32.

I had been there for three years. When all this happened to me, I

:38:32.:38:37.

felt very alone. I didn't realise how common my experience was. I

:38:37.:38:43.

want to know what can be done to help teenagers like me. I have come

:38:43.:38:48.

to meet a girl who was in a same- sex relationship, she felt so

:38:48.:38:55.

trapped by the abuse, that she ended up harming herself.

:38:55.:39:03.

I started cutting myself, I drunk bleach at one point, where me and

:39:03.:39:08.

my ex-girlfriend had an argument, and I drunk bleach, I thought,

:39:08.:39:12.

that's going to watch away my problems, bleach burns, that will

:39:12.:39:18.

wash away my problems. So I took the bleach, and then I got sent to

:39:19.:39:28.
:39:29.:39:32.

hospital. In one incident Armani was threatened at knife-point by

:39:32.:39:36.

her girlfriend, she didn't want the police to be involved. I felt like

:39:36.:39:39.

it wasn't necessary, it wasn't relevant for the police to be

:39:39.:39:44.

involved, it would cause more drama. I personally don't like police.

:39:44.:39:49.

There is a lack of trust for the police? Unlike Armani, eventually

:39:49.:39:54.

after months of abuse, I did get the police involved. I called the

:39:54.:39:59.

police at least 15 times, I wanted them to help me protect myself from

:39:59.:40:02.

my ex-boyfriend, I didn't want to press charges because I was too

:40:02.:40:06.

scared, now you want to know why nothing was done.

:40:06.:40:09.

The Chief Constable in charge of domestic abuse nationally has

:40:09.:40:16.

agreed to meet me. I called the police 20 times and he

:40:16.:40:22.

only got arrested once, he was held in a cell overnight but released

:40:22.:40:26.

the next morning. Since then nothing has happened, do you think

:40:26.:40:31.

the police take domestic violence seriously when it is a 16-year-old

:40:31.:40:34.

boy hitting a 16-year-old girl? think your story shows we have a

:40:34.:40:37.

lot to do in relation to getting police officers to understand.

:40:37.:40:40.

Actually young people are in relationships at a lot younger age,

:40:40.:40:45.

and to understand that this is not acceptable, whatever the age, and

:40:45.:40:47.

that's the work that I'm doing right the way across the police

:40:47.:40:51.

service in England and Wales, to actually get a training programme

:40:51.:40:54.

in place. Sometimes the police asked me in front of my ex-

:40:54.:40:59.

boyfriend, what I wanted to do, if I wanted to press charges? I didn't

:40:59.:41:04.

want to say anything in front of my ex-boyfriend, as it is a really

:41:04.:41:07.

awkward situation. Do you not think it is wrong to ask the victim in

:41:08.:41:12.

front of the attacker? For me that is basic common sense, that you

:41:12.:41:16.

wouldn't ask somebody such a question in front of someone else.

:41:16.:41:20.

What else can they say? Even if I didn't want to press charges, isn't

:41:20.:41:23.

it the case that the police are supposed to pursue the

:41:23.:41:27.

investigation any way? Yes, they are. Because you have made an

:41:27.:41:30.

allegation of crime. Actually you have made an allegation against

:41:31.:41:35.

somebody, which is serious, we know from the evidence base and the

:41:35.:41:41.

training tells us, that unless we respond then quite often people

:41:41.:41:46.

become repeat victims. She told me about new policies the police are

:41:46.:41:50.

working on. We are doing work with the Home Office to propose we

:41:50.:41:54.

reduce the common definition of domestic abuse to also include

:41:54.:41:58.

young people right down to the age of 16. We are piloting a thing

:41:58.:42:02.

called Domestic Violence Protection Orders, which removes the

:42:02.:42:06.

individual, the perpetrator from the home, which enables property

:42:06.:42:16.
:42:16.:42:17.

safety planning and the victim to make choices over a period of time.

:42:17.:42:20.

The Government says it is spending �28 million on domestic violence

:42:20.:42:25.

services, but in the last year they have seen big cuts by local

:42:26.:42:30.

authorities. How is the Government going to help people like me when

:42:30.:42:35.

services are being cut? I'm here at the House of Commons, to talk to

:42:35.:42:41.

the minister, Lynne Featherstone, I want to talk to her about my

:42:41.:42:45.

experience of domestic violence and talk to her about shou she and the

:42:45.:42:49.

Government will help other young women. I'm really nervous,

:42:49.:42:53.

hopefully my nerves will turn into excitement and it will go well. Do

:42:53.:42:57.

you recognise there has been cuts and that there will be more?

:42:57.:43:01.

Obviously this Government and the coalition of left with the biggest

:43:01.:43:05.

deficit since the war. So, yes, there have been Government cuts,

:43:05.:43:11.

but, as I said, we have ring-fenced �28 million of Home Office funding,

:43:11.:43:15.

and �10 million of the Ministry of Justice funding, to support

:43:15.:43:18.

services, to send out a message to local authorities, who actually do

:43:18.:43:24.

most of the funding, to the violence against women charities

:43:24.:43:30.

and support services, to say, don't cut this, this is a vulnerable

:43:30.:43:39.

sector. Women's Aid reckon the refuges face cuts, do you think

:43:40.:43:45.

cutting that will help women like me? Of course not. The Government

:43:45.:43:48.

has ring-fenced spending to set an example, it has never been done in

:43:48.:43:51.

the Home Office before, never ring- fenced that amount of money to say

:43:51.:43:54.

this is really important, because girls like you are so vulnerable.

:43:54.:43:58.

I'm really sorry that there is hard times going on, but it is not just

:43:58.:44:01.

the Government, we have all got to play our part in this, local

:44:01.:44:06.

authorities included. Whoever is responsible for

:44:06.:44:09.

providing support for girls in abusive relationships, for some,

:44:09.:44:15.

help comes too late. This is Cassie, we were friends in

:44:15.:44:24.

Germany. Here she is again. Jennifer's daughter, Cassandra, was

:44:24.:44:28.

killed by her ex-boyfriend, it took seven years to bring him to justice

:44:29.:44:33.

t and only after he attempted to murder nearly Gill friend.

:44:33.:44:40.

death has actually destroyed me as a person, as a mum. -- another

:44:40.:44:45.

girlfriend. Her death has actually destroyed me as a person. As a mum.

:44:45.:44:51.

The impact it has on her friends and sisters, and on the community.

:44:51.:44:54.

Now Jennifer runs the Cassandra Learning Centre, helping other

:44:54.:44:58.

girls just like me. What do you feel when you meet someone like me,

:44:58.:45:03.

in a similar situation to your daughter? My immediate feelings is

:45:03.:45:12.

to smother you with everything a mother would do. To protect you and

:45:12.:45:20.

to give you all the information that I can to keep you safe. Just

:45:20.:45:25.

to make sure you don't go through that hurt, that pain.

:45:25.:45:33.

You looks a if you are going to cry. Sorry.

:45:33.:45:43.
:45:43.:45:45.

Let me love you. It's OK. You're alive. OK.

:45:45.:45:49.

What shocked me making the film was how common what I went through is,

:45:49.:45:53.

and what really shocked me is how many girls and women end up dead. I

:45:53.:45:56.

think that Jennifer is really an amazing woman. When her daughter

:45:56.:46:03.

died she could have given up, but instead, she used her knowledge and

:46:03.:46:07.

her grief to help other people like me. I appreciated meeting the

:46:07.:46:10.

minister, and I appreciated meeting the police as well. I just hope

:46:10.:46:13.

that everything they promised they can pull through with. I think that

:46:13.:46:16.

it will really help people in the future, so that no-one has to go

:46:16.:46:20.

through what I went through. Taylah Douglas making that film for

:46:20.:46:25.

Let's take you through the front pages of the Telegraph. The same

:46:25.:46:35.
:46:35.:47:08.

That's all from Newsnight tonight, plenty more tomorrow, very good

:47:08.:47:18.
:47:18.:47:22.

Another spell of wet and windy weather to sweep across the country.

:47:22.:47:27.

It starts overnight, the strongest gusts along the south coast, the

:47:27.:47:31.

strong winds blow the rain further north throughout the day. Dry

:47:31.:47:36.

brighter spells in parts of western Scotland. After a dry start

:47:36.:47:41.

northern England turns soggy. Cool in the east with a strong wind off

:47:41.:47:45.

the North Sea. Some pretty vicious afternoon showers, torrential

:47:45.:47:49.

downpours, hail and thunder, likely to be mixed in. Frequent showers

:47:49.:47:53.

across the south west of England, the winds actually falling lighter

:47:53.:47:57.

through the afternoon, after a blustery morning. Gusty throughout

:47:57.:48:02.

the day. Further outbreaks of heavy rain, followed by lively storms.

:48:02.:48:06.

The wet weather reaching the south west corner of Northern Ireland.

:48:06.:48:10.

Sunny intervals, showers, the mixture too across Scotland. With

:48:10.:48:14.

the best of the dry and bright weather across Scotland. We're not

:48:14.:48:17.

done there. More wet weather, particularly across north-east

:48:17.:48:20.

England and eastern Scotland again on Thursday. Again it will feel

:48:20.:48:24.

cool, with the outbreaks of rain. Further south, again that mixture

:48:24.:48:28.

of sunshine and showers on Thursday. Likely to see some fairly lively

:48:28.:48:31.

downpours once more, hail and thunder can't be ruled out. It will

:48:31.:48:35.

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