George Osborne met NI chiefs 16 times

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has met executives of News Corporation companies on 16 occasions since the coalition Government took power, it was revealed today.

Details of the meetings were released as the Government published records of all ministerial contacts with senior media executives, in the wake of the controversy over phone-hacking at the News Corp-owned News of the World and Mr Murdoch's ditched bid to take over BSkyB.



It also emerged that News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch was the first senior media figure to meet Jeremy Hunt after he was appointed Culture Secretary in May last year - though this was before Mr Hunt was given responsibility for deciding on the BSkyB bid.



Mr Osborne met Rupert Murdoch twice, once for what was described as a "general discussion" shortly after taking office in May and the second time in December. He met former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and Mr Murdoch's son James - News Corp's chief executive in Europe - on five different occasions each.



The Chancellor has also had one-to-ones with editors of News International papers James Harding of The Times, John Witherow of the Sunday Times and Colin Myler of the News of the World.



The first senior media figure that Jeremy Hunt met on becoming Culture Secretary in May last year was Rupert Murdoch at an evening reception and dinner.



The following month he met James Murdoch for a general discussion.



Following his assumption of responsibility for the BSkyB takeover bid in December, he had two further meetings with James Murdoch in January this year to set out the process around the proposed merger.







Business Secretary Vince Cable, who was stripped of responsibility for ruling on whether the BSkyB bid should go ahead after boasting in December that he had "declared war on Rupert Murdoch", did not have as much contact as some of his colleagues with News Corp figures.

Mr Cable met Times editor James Harding in December, though it is unclear whether this was before or after he was stripped of his responsibilities for the BSkyB bid. He also attended a Sunday Times business lunch last April.



The publication of ministers' contacts with media figures was ordered earlier this month by Prime Minister David Cameron, who revealed then that he had himself met News Corp executives on 26 occasions since entering 10 Downing Street.



Today's release also revealed that Education Secretary Michael Gove has met News Corp executives 11 times since the general election in May 2010.



Mr Gove, a former journalist for The Times, met Rupert Murdoch seven times and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks eight times at events including lunches, dinners and social gatherings.



A spokesman for Mr Gove said: "Michael worked for the BBC and News International and his wife works for News International now.



"He's known Rupert Murdoch for over a decade. He did not discuss the BSkyB deal with the Murdochs and isn't at all embarrassed about his meetings, most of which have been about education which is his job."





Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has met senior figures at News Corp five times since May last year, including one-to-one meetings with Mr Myler and Mr Witherow.

He also attended Rupert Murdoch's inaugural Margaret Thatcher lecture, as well as a News International reception at the Tory party autumn conference and a News Corp summer reception.







Labour's John Mann (Bassetlaw) said Mr Osborne needed to provide greater detail about his meetings with News International executives.

He said: "Whilst we now have a list of meetings that George Osborne has had with News International, it is not enough.



"We now need full access, including the publishing of the minutes from these meetings. In particular we need to know the details of his December 2010 meetings and exactly what was said about the BSkyB bid.



"This information is particularly important because George Osborne was the person who initiated the Andy Coulson appointment."





Defence Secretary Liam Fox met Ms Brooks three times - twice with James Murdoch and once with Rupert Murdoch and Sunday Times editor John Witherow.





Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has had four meetings with Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre since taking office.

He has also met the BBC twice and ITN, but the only News International executive he has met is the Sun editor Dominic Mohan.



International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has also met Mr Mohan, as well as Ms Brooks and Mr Harding.



Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith did not meet any newspaper executives between January and March, only having lunch with Tim Montgomerie, the editor of Conservativehome.com.



But Employment Minister Chris Grayling did have lunch with executives from the Sun and Independent, while Disability Minister Maria Miller had lunch with the Daily Mail.



Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud had lunch with the Independent and the Sunday Times.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Data Analytics Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading organisation...

Accountant / Assistant Management Accountant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Insight Analyst Vacancy - Leading Marketing Agency

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency have won a fe...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices