Adam Smith, special adviser to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, has resigned following allegations that he held inappropriate discussions with News Corporation over the BskyB takeover.
Emails released by the Leveson Inquiry yesterday revealed that Smith gave News Corporation lobbyist Frederic Michel insights into Hunt’s opinion on the News Corp-BskyB bid.
In a statement issued by the Department for Culture Media and Sport, Adam Smith said:
“While it was part of my role to keep News Corporation informed throughout the BskyB bid process, the content and extent of my contact was done without authorisation from the Secretary of State.
“I do not recognise all of what Fred Michel said, but nonetheless I appreciate that my activities at times went too far and have, taken together, created the perception that News Corporation had too close a relationship with the department, contrary to the clear requirements set out by Jeremy Hunt and the permanent secretary that this needed to be a fair and scrupulous process.
“Whilst I firmly believe that the process was in fact conducted scrupulously fairly, as a result of my activities it is only right for me to step down as special adviser to Jeremy Hunt.”