George Osborne claimed he had no “strong view” on whether Rupert Murdoch's empire should have been allowed to expand further — but that he and David Cameron rushed to make the controversial appointment of Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, before taking legal advice.
The Chancellor also took responsibility for the hiring of Andy Coulson — since arrested — to the Conservative Party and later Downing Street.
Mr Osborne told the Leveson Inquiry that he was merely “an external observer” of News Corporation's £8bn BSkyB bid, which he described as a “political inconvenience”, and denied speaking to either Jeremy Hunt or Vince Cable about it.
Under oath, he also said that:
A News Corporation spokesman said later: “Rupert Murdoch stands behind his testimony”.