The intervention by Hunt, who is facing calls for his resignation, was revealed for the first time in a document shown to the Leveson inquiry on Thursday. Hunt urged David Cameron not to allow the business secretary, Vince Cable, to block the BSkyB bid despite strong advice to the culture secretary from his own officials that he should not involve himself in the process.
The culture secretary claimed to the prime minister that if the Murdoch bid was blocked "our media sector will suffer for years". He asked for a meeting with Cable and Cameron to discuss the handling of the deal.
The document appears to corroborate the picture that emerges from earlier email exchanges between Hunt's aide Adam Smith and the News Corp lobbyist Frédéric Michel. Those emails document an apparently collusive relationship with the Murdoch empire and have already put Hunt's cabinet position in peril.