Blair, Hunt and Cable take the stand at Leveson Inquiry

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will be subjected to a day of questioning about his relationship with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and the rest of the media at the Leveson Inquiry today.

Blair will come under particular scrutiny about the extent to which he made a deal with News Corp in exchange for support from The Sun newspaper in 1997. Blair famously flew to Australia in 1995 to address a News Corp conference.

Blair's period in office was one characterised by spin with many journalists sharply critical of the way press secretary Alastair Campbell operated.

When Blair stepped own in 2007 he made a speech condemning the way the modern media hunted 'in a pack".

He said: 'In these modes it is like a feral beast, just tearing people and reputations to bits, but no-one dares miss out."

It emerged last year that Blair was made godfather to one of Murdoch's children in 2010.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) Education Secretary Michael Gove (a former Times journalist) and Home Secretary Theresa May will take the stand at Leveson.

One Wednesday, cabinet ministers Vince Cable and Ken Clarke are up and on Thursday under-fire Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will take the stand for a full day of questioning.

Hunt will have to explain why a series of emails and text messages released by News Corp's lobbyist Fred Michel gave the impression that he was secretly backing News Corp's bid to purchase the 61 per cent of BSkyB that it did not already own last year.

Last week, the inquiry published a memo sent by the Culture Secretary to Cameron in November 2010, weeks before he took on the quasi-judicial role, in which he appeared to be making the case for News Corp's bid to go ahead.



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