Jeremy Hunt shelves his controversial media Green Paper

Embattled Culture Secretary puts potentially divisive proposals on hold until after Olympics

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Indy Politics

The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has shelved his potentially controversial communications Green Paper until after the Olympics.

The document had the potential to draw further accusations of bias, as it would have dealt with contentious issues such as the future of public service broadcasting, the handling of internet piracy and the allocation of broadcasting spectrum.

It will be replaced by a series of five half-day seminars between July and September, intended to encourage investment and competition.

Mr Hunt said as he announced the postponement: "The UK's communications sector is one of the strongest in the world. We must ensure the sector can grow by being at the forefront of new developments in the industry. It is essential that we set the right conditions for the industry to enable businesses to grasp the opportunities created by new technology."

The Liberal Democrat Communications minister, Ed Vaizey, added: "Through these seminars, we will look in detail at how best to drive investment and competition. We want to shape the Communications Bill so that we have the right framework to secure our place as Europe's tech hub."

Mr Hunt has managed to hold on to his job after the furore around his handling of News Corporation's attempt to take full control of BSkyB, but his political future remains vulnerable to further controversy.

A good reputation management consultant would advise him to stay out of the spotlight for a while in order to rebuild his public image. The last thing he needs just now is to find himself at the centre of further uproar.

The postponement of further discussion of the Communications Bill until after the Olympics has been justified by the explanation that there is no need for "root-and-branch" reform of the sector. Mr Hunt has something else he'd rather concentrate on. The Olympic Games are undoubtedly the most important part of his brief at this time and have enormous capacity to create public relations problems for the Culture, Media and Sport department.