Vince Cable
The Press Complaints Commission has launched an investigation into the "use of subterfuge" by the Daily Telegraph in its expose piece on business secretary Vince Cable.

Cable was stripped of the responsibility for making a decision over News Corp's bid for BSkyB following comments he made to undercover reporters from the Telegraph in December.

Cable, who had the power to veto the takeover bid, told the journalists: "You may wonder what is happening with the Murdoch press. I have declared war on Mr Murdoch and I think we’re going to win."

Cable was being recorded by the reporters, who posed as Lib Dem voters in his constituency.

In a statement the PCC says it was contacted by around 200 members of the public about the matter and "proactively sought the comments of party representatives".

The commission says it received a letter from the president of the Liberal Democrats today asking it to investigate the issue.

"We have now received a letter from the Liberal Democrats asking us formally to investigate. We will do so under Clause 10 (Clandestine devices and subterfuge) of the Editors' Code of Practice," a spokesman confirmed.

A spokesman for the Telegraph issued a previous statement from the newspaper today.

“There is a clear public interest in the Daily Telegraph publishing this story. The Daily Telegraph takes the Press Complaints Commission code extremely seriously and has always adhered to it."

The Liberal Democrats says it wants the PCC to look at what happened in this case and produce guidance for future events.

Responsibility for News Corp's takeover bid within the coalition was passed to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, who was quizzed about the decision making process by Raymond Snoddy at a debate at the London School of Economics last night.

The debate was interrupted by around 30 demonstrators who gained entry in order to protest against the proposed takeover following reports that Hunt had met privately with representatives from News Corp.

Hunt refused to comment on the matter, saying that it was a "quasi-judicial process", with his decision likely to result in a judicial challenge.


The Telegraph has released a new statement in response to the PCC confirmation.

"The Telegraph always abides by the terms of the Editors' Code and co-operates fully with the work of the PCC. We will of course assist their investigation on this complaint in any way we can. We are satisfied we acted within the terms of the Code as we believe there is a strong public interest in our publishing this story."

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