Leading article: The net is closing around the Culture Secretary


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The Independent Online

Downing Street may be sticking to its support for the embattled Culture Secretary, stolidly refusing calls for an inquiry into whether the "inappropriate" contact between one of his top aides and News Corp over the BSkyB deal broke the Ministerial Code. But Mr Hunt is on the run all the same.

For evidence, one need look no further than Jonathan Stephens' performance at an MPs' committee yesterday. The Department of Culture's most senior civil servant dodged the question of how far he had sanctioned the special adviser's activities no fewer than 10 times.

Mr Stephens excused himself on the grounds that such matters are for the Leveson Inquiry, at which the scandal was first exposed. Perhaps. But his failure to immediately stand four-square behind Mr Hunt only adds to the sense that, in failing to resign, the Culture Secretary is simply delaying the inevitable.