This post originally appeared on WestminsterWorld.com. I’ve republished it now as by the end of this week I’m expecting replies from the Department of Health on 20 Freedom of Information requests. These requests covered these meetings and other meetings between Jeremy Hunt and his junior ministers that seemed of interest.
Jeremy Hunt had eight meeting with senior media figures between October and December, a period that coincided with escalating industrial action by junior doctors.
These media figures included: Fraser Nelson, Editor of The Spectator; Amol Rajan, Editor of The Independent; Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC and Tony Gallagher, Editor of The Sun.
Additional meetings are known to have occurred with the editorial teams at BBC News, The Daily Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday and The Daily Mail. Hunt also attended the BBC Proms twice with his wife, courtesy of complementary tickets on both occasions.
Hunt’s eight media meetings over three months contrast sharply with a total of zero meetings over the previous nine months.
The meeting and hospitality were revealed in the latest release of ministerial gifts, travel, hospitality and external meetings from the Department of Health. Exact details of who was at the meetings and what was discussed have yet to be revealed. Westminster World has sent Freedom of Information Requests asking for further details of the meetings.