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Hunt faces donation probe

May 21, 2012

Jeremy Hunt, the UK culture secretary, is to be investigated by the parliamentary standards commissioner on claims he failed to register donations from media companies while in opposition.

John Lyon, the parliamentary standards commissioner, announced the inquiry on Monday in response to a complaint earlier in May from Labour MP Stephen McCabe. McCabe says a series of “networking events” involving eight media organisaitons which culture minister Ed Vaizey said he and Hunt had attended while in opposition before the May 2010 general election, should have been declared.

Vaizey recorded the events in the register of interests as donations in kind worth a total of around £27,000. A spokeperson for the culture secretary said he had amended his register entry since the complaint was raised.

Hunt is fighting for his political life after the resignation of his special adviser Adam Smith over allegations of of contact with a News Corp lobbyist during the Sky takeover bid. Hunt maintains that he acted correctly and in a quasi-judicial manner while he was considering the bid. Hunt will give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry shortly.

It is thought Hunt will claim he assumed Vaizey’s declarations covered the issue.

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