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49% think Hunt should quit: survey
Nearly half of the population believe embattled Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt should resign, a poll has indicated.
The research found just 16% of voters think the Secretary of State should remain in post while 49% want him to quit over his links with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.
The ComRes poll for ITV News at Ten also found three out of five voters want an independent probe into whether Mr Hunt was involved in the passing of information to News Corp during its bid for BSkyB.
It comes after David Cameron again rejected Labour demands for an inquiry when he was forced to answer an urgent question on the row in the House of Commons.
Labour leader Ed Miliband told MPs that Mr Cameron was "defending the indefensible", after the exposure by the Leveson Inquiry of emails which showed that a News Corp lobbyist was passed advance information about a sensitive parliamentary statement by Mr Hunt's special adviser Adam Smith.
Mr Smith quit, admitting he "went too far" in his contacts with Fred Michel, but Mr Cameron made clear that he remains determined to hang on to his Culture Secretary, who sat beside him on the Government front bench.
He said he believed Mr Hunt "acted fairly and impartially and in line with the advice of his permanent secretary", adding: "I have seen no evidence to suggest that, in handling this issue, the Secretary of State acted at any stage in a way that was contrary to the ministerial code."
He accused Labour of playing "one-sided party politics" with the issue, and repeated his denial that he had made a "grand bargain" with News Corp to allow it to take control of BSkyB in return for the support of its newspapers - something he said he would deny on oath if required to when he appears before Leveson.
But Mr Miliband claimed Mr Hunt had breached three clauses of the code and repeated Labour's demand for Mr Cameron to refer the issue to his independent adviser on ministerial conduct Sir Alex Allan. "The Prime Minister is defending the indefensible and he knows it," Mr Miliband said.
Mr Cameron dismissed the attack as "weak and wrong", adding: "Endlessly questioning the integrity of someone when you don't have the evidence is bad judgment, rotten politics and plain wrong."