Leveson Inquiry: Hunt adviser Adam Smith to appear

Adam Smith Adam Smith quit over contacts between Jeremy Hunt's office and News Corporation

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt's former special adviser Adam Smith will give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry next week, it has been announced.

News Corporation lobbyist Frederic Michel will also appear on Thursday.

Mr Smith resigned last month over his contacts with Mr Michel relating to News Corp's bid to take over BSkyB.

Former Labour cabinet ministers Lord Mandelson, Lord Reid, Tessa Jowell and Alan Johnson will also appear at the Leveson Inquiry next week.

Mr Smith resigned after a series of emails released at the inquiry revealed close contacts between Mr Hunt's office and News Corp.

Mr Smith said the "content and extent" of his dealings with Mr Michel had not been authorised by the culture secretary.

Mr Hunt, who has himself rejected calls to quit, will give his own account of events when he appears before the Leveson Inquiry.

Labour MP Tom Watson, a fierce critic of News International over the phone-hacking scandal, will give evidence next week as will BBC television journalists Jeremy Paxman and Andrew Marr.

The third module of the Leveson Inquiry is focusing on the relationship between the press and prominent politicians as part of its examination of the ethics, culture and practices of the UK's newspapers.

On Thursday, Daily Telegraph chief political commentator Peter Oborne told the inquiry that News International (NI) executives briefed David Cameron on "what to say and how to say it" before he first met Rupert Murdoch.

But Mr Oborne said an unnamed NI employee was shocked when Mr Cameron "wouldn't play ball".

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