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Alex Salmond reveals Murdoch meetings

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has published letters detailing his exchanges with News International executives, including Rupert Murdoch, in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

The letters come with a list of dates and names covering meetings held with editors, journalists and other executives stretching back to June 2007, shortly after the SNP first took office.

The party said the information, which does not go into allegations of hacking, shows that government meetings with all media are "perfectly proper and reasonable".

Meetings involving the First Minister included a visit to see Mr Murdoch in New York in October 2007.

Details also reveal exchanges with Mr Murdoch's son, James, after a meeting in London in January.

Mr Salmond wrote: "It was a pleasure meeting you in London last week and I would like to thank you for hosting lunch which was most enjoyable. I appreciated the opportunity to meet and thought our conversation on business opportunities for BSkyB in Scotland most useful."

Other letters show attempts to bring Rupert Murdoch to Scotland as guest of honour at The Gathering, a cultural celebration intended as the centrepiece of the Year of Homecoming. The First Minister suggested it would be a great spectacle for coverage by Sky television.

The Sun newspaper, owned by News International, switched from outright opposition to the SNP before the 2007 election to support for the party at the recent election in May.

Belfast Telegraph


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