An email, forwarded on behalf of Ed Miliband’s director of strategy Tom Baldwin to all shadow cabinet teams, warns Labour spokespeople to avoid linking hacking with the BSkyB bid, to accept ministerial assurances that meetings with Rupert Murdoch are not influencing that process and to ensure that complaints about tapping are made in a personal, not shadow ministerial, capacity.
The circular, sent by a Labour Press Officer, on 27 January states: “Tom Baldwin has requested that any front bench spokespeople use the following line when questioned on phone hacking. BSkyB bid and phone tapping … these issues should not be linked. One is a competition issue, the other an allegation of criminal activity.”
It goes on: “Downing Street says that Cameron’s dinners with Murdoch will not affect Hunt’s judgement. We have to take them at their word.”