Murdoch admits discussing BSkyB bid with Cameron
James Murdoch discussed News Corporation's controversial bid for BSkyB with prime minister David Cameron over dinner, according to Murdoch's written witness statement to the Leveson enquiry.
James Murdoch: News Corporation's deputy chief executive
The disclosure by Murdoch marks the first time that News Corporation's deputy chief executive has admitted discussing the bid with the prime minister.
Cameron had previously refused to deny that he spoke about BSkyB’s bid during the dinner, on December 23, 2010, which was hosted by former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie Brooks.
Murdoch's written statement said: "I recall speaking briefly to the prime minister on one occasion about the proposal. This was on 23 December 2010 at a dinner hosted by Rebekah Brooks and attended by a number of other people."
The dinner took place at the Brooks' Cotswold home just days after responsibility for the deal had passed to Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for culture, media and sport from Vince Cable, the secretary of state for business, innovation and skills.
Murdoch's written statement says that he sought an assurance from Cameron that Hunt would oversee the bid "objectively" in the future.
Murdoch's revelation could prompt renewed calls for a Cabinet Office inquiry into Cameron's meetings with Murdoch.
In total, Murdoch met Cameron 12 times while he was leader of the opposition, including four meetings also attended by Brookes, the Leveson Inquiry heard today.
Follow John Reynolds on Twitter @johnreynolds10
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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