Cameron denies deals with Murdoch empire

2012-06-14 13:04
AP

AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday dismissed claims that his party made covert deals with Rupert Murdoch's media empire as he faced a grilling at Britain's press ethics inquiry.

In eagerly awaited testimony to the Leveson Inquiry, Cameron admitted however that British politicians had become too close to newspapers and said the relationship needed to be better regulated.

Cameron was expected to face questioning over his links to Murdoch and two of the media baron's top lieutenants, who have been arrested over the phone-hacking scandal at Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World tabloid.

"The idea of overt deals is nonsense," Cameron said, responding to suggestions that his Conservative party treated Murdoch's News Corporation empire softly in exchange for positive coverage.

"I also don't believe in this theory that there was also a nod and a wink and a covert agreement," he added.

Cameron set up the Leveson inquiry in July last year after the News of the World was shut down in the wake of a public outcry when it emerged the tabloid had hacked into the phone of a murdered schoolgirl.

Transparency


As the scandal spiralled, the Conservative-led government's own links to the Murdoch empire came under scrutiny, particularly as it was responsible for deciding on a News Corp takeover bid for pay-TV giant BSkyB.

Cameron said that British politicians generally had become too close to newspapers, without mentioning Murdoch, who still owns The Sun, Britain's best-selling tabloid, The Times and Sunday Times in Britain.

"It has been too close and I think we need to try and get it on a better footing," Cameron told the inquiry, led by senior judge Brian Leveson.

There should be "greater transparency, better regulation, having a little more distance" in the future, the prime minister added.

Cameron was driven from Downing Street to the Royal Courts of Justice in London to attend the inquiry. Wearing a white shirt with a dark suit and blue tie, he gave a brief wave to waiting photographers as he walked inside.

Questions are likely to focus on his relationships with former Murdoch high-fliers Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson.

PM’s aide

Brooks, a friend of the Camerons, former editor of the News of the World and chief executive of Murdoch's British newspaper wing News International, has been arrested over the phone-hacking scandal.

The former Murdoch top aide has been charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, and will appear in court to answer the accusations on 22 June after being granted bail by a London court on Wednesday.

The prime minister may also be asked about his former media chief Andy Coulson, another ex-editor of the News of the World, who has been charged with perjury in a case relating to a story in the paper.

Coulson was separately arrested last year on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption.

Scotland Yard said it had arrested three more people on Thursday in a bribery probe linked to the hacking investigation, including a former prison officer.

Around 50 people have been arrested so far in the combined investigations into bribery and hacking.

Future of press regulation

Cameron's immediate predecessors Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and John Major have already given evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, which is examining the culture, practices and ethics of the press.

The inquiry is due to produce a report, likely to include recommendations on the future of press regulation, in October.

Cameron's appearance comes amid new reverberations from the scandal, with a rift opening in the coalition government over a parliamentary vote on Wednesday over whether to investigate the culture minister's links to News Corporation.

The premier has refused to open a probe into whether Jeremy Hunt broke ministerial rules when he was responsible for deciding whether the BSkyB deal would go ahead.

In a separate development, prosecutors said they would not bring charges against a Guardian journalist after he admitted hacking an arms company executive's phone.

The Guardian is the paper that led efforts to investigate hacking.

Read more on:    news international  |  news corporation  |  rupert murdoch  |  tony blair  |  gordon brown  |  david cameron  |  rebekah brooks  |  uk  |  uk hacking scandal  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.