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Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 20th January 2011.

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Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 10:30 am, 20th January 2011

I am sure that the Secretary of State would accept that the Government's handling of this quasi-judicial responsibility has been nothing short of a constitutional disgrace. The Business Secretary was stripped of his responsibilities because he

"declared war on Mr Murdoch", the Culture Secretary is on record as saying that he sees no problem with this particular deal, and the Prime Minister has now been found tucking into turkey in the middle of the process with the chief executive of News International. What breathtaking arrogance and contempt for their constitutional responsibilities!

Will the Secretary of State now tell the whole House whether he intends to meet any of the concerned parties before making a decision on this referral? Will he also release the Ofcom report-he has the ability to do so-in advance of making his decision, so that the House can be reassured that his judgment is impartial?