LONDON: A defensive David Cameron today insisted that he had struck "no grand deal" with media baron Rupert Murdoch over the BSkyB takeover bid following last week's revelation of a string of emails exchanged between the office of Culture secretary and News International.
Speaking on the widely watched Andrew Marr Show on BBC, the Prime Minister admitted he had sought the support of Murdoch's news organisations, along with other news organisations, like any politician would, but claimed he did not change government policies to suit commercial interests of newspaper proprietors.
Cameron said: "It would be absolutely wrong for there to be any sort of deal and there wasn't... There was no grand deal. The positions I reach are because I believe them, I think they're right for our country. That's the platform I stand on.
"I do not do things, change my policies to suit this proprietor or that proprietor".
Cameron and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt have so far resisted intense pressure for the latter to quit, on the ground that his office breached ministerial code.
Hunt's advisor, Adam Smith, resigned following the revelations, and Hunt is scheduled to explain his position before the Leveson inquiry.
According to the Labour party, the string of emails meant that Murdoch's company had a "back channel" of influence, a position of advantage allegedly not enjoyed by other bidders for BSkyB shares.