Downing Street has been accused of becoming too closely entwined with News Corp after it emerged that the prime minister, chancellor and culture secretary had met senior executives from Rupert Murdoch-owned titles no less than 20 times over an 18-month period.
Seven of these visits were with Rupert Murdoch himself and a further eight with Robert Thomson, the most senior executive Murdoch’s newspaper empire.
The access figures were obtained by the Media Reform Coalition and 38 Degrees and cover the period from April 2015 to September 2016 – a tumultuous period in British political history during which Murdoch’s titles backed the Conservatives in the 2015 general election and backed the vote to leave the EU.
Maggie Chao of 38 Degrees, commented: "These findings show that Murdoch continues to enjoy astounding access to senior politicians. But more importantly, they throw into question the government’s – and [culture secretary] Karen Bradley’s – judgment when it comes to the UK’s most powerful media baron.
“Now it’s up to Karen Bradley to prove she’s on the public’s side – not Murdoch’s – by ensuring the Sky deal is subject to the highest levels of scrutiny."