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Morning and welcome to this Daily Politics special on the day the


Commons has postponed its summer recess so that the Prime Minister


can address MPs on the phone hacking scandal. David Cameron


returned to Westminster last night after cutting short his trade


mission to Africa. He will make a statement at 11:30am and then take


questions from both sides of the House. The Commons will continue to


debate for they have rest of the afternoon in matter that has


convulsed media, the politics and the police. Hot on the heels of


yesterday's evidence, police are accused of a catalogue of failures


in their evidence. -- in their investigations. And we will be


examining where this extraordinary state of affairs leaves of British


politics. And with us to watch the Prime


Minister's statement, we will shortly be joined by Philip Hammond,


the Transport Secretary. Naturally, as usual, he is late for the


programme. He is always late. We're going to get him a watch for his


Christmas. We are also joined by Tessa Jowell and the Liberal


Democrat spokesman on Culture, Media and Sport, Don Foster.


Bomb Affairs Select Committee have this morning released the report


into phone hacking. It accuses News International of trying to thought


to the investigation, but it is also scathing about the police,


accusing them of a catalogue of failures. Here is one of highlights


from yesterday's evidence, with John Yates, who resigned on Monday,


being asked why he held the daughter of former News of the


World editor Neil Wallis get a job with the police. I was a post box


for a CBE. From Mr Wallis's daughter. I am very happy to give


the committee the e-mail, which gives an equivocal interest in


whether she gets employment or not. I passed on her e-mail and her CV


to the director of human resources. Thereafter, I do not know what


happened to it. It happens to it all the time. I know that many


members of parliament employ friends and family. That was John


Yates giving evidence yesterday. A few minutes ago, I spoke to the


chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, key fast. I think we


have a problem with Keith Vaz. I know you interviewed him a few


moments ago. I did, and he was all right a few


minutes ago. This business of the police not


only being thwarted by News International, but in the words of


the committee, showing no real will to override the failure to co-


operate and get on with it. It is quite a damning condemnation of


News International, which it would have been useful to have had before


yesterday's keeling, and it is just as damning of the police. Agreed?


It absolutely is. There is a lot of material here that these to be


looked at in more detail in the Levenson inquiry which is just


about to start. If we take the Home Affairs Select Committee report,


which is basically saying that News International strutted the inquiry,


but actually the police were not up for an inquiry in the first place,


and now we know of this interlocking set of relationships


between News International and the police, should we be surprised that


they had no appetite to do an investigation? I do not know about


that, because we do not know who was involved in the links with


journalists. You're right, there is lots of evidence for a lack of


appetite. One example, John Yates admitted he spent eight hours only


reviewing 11,000 pages of evidence, and then came to the conclusion


based on that very limited flick through it that there was no


further need for an inquiry. Frankly, that is disgraceful.


evidence for News International obstruction and for the


indifference of the police was gathering throughout the years


Labour was in power. Yet I do not remember your party in opposition


ever making a deal about it. Indeed, your leader went and hired a former


editor of News International. of us saw what was going on. With


the benefit of hindsight, we are all very shocked about this. Tories


do not regard Ian? None of us saw the scale of what was happening. --


do not read the Guardian. I do not think we understood the connections


between the police and News International. Nobody did.


Basically, you were ignorant? was a police inquiry and we were


told that that had concluded and that people had been through the


courts and gone to jail. But we knew that was not true in the 2009.


We knew that News International had basically signed a hush money


agreement with Mr Taylor and Mr Clifford. Obviously, those


settlements had been made. We knew that something was wrong. Yeah, but


hindsight is a wonderful thing. was there not hindsight in 2009?


can all see that something was wrong and the relationships are


extremely problematic. But you were told in 2009 and before that


something was a mess, that the original role reporter defence


collapsed with the Taylor incident and the Clifford incident. The


royal reporter was not investigating their head of the FA.


And not only did you have someone from News International at the


heart of opposition, he then took him into government. But the police


have looked at these allegations and decided there were no further...


But the police look as if they were in the pockets of News


International. We know that now but the presumption has always been to


assume that the police are also investigating the issues put before


them. When the police tell us there is no case to answer, that is what


Morse people have accepted. -- most people. I wonder why you go back to


2009. In 2006, we had the report saying that 305 journalists had


illegally obtained information. understand that, but he was not in


power them. Tessa Jowell was, so you have teed me up my sleeve. To


go further back, when Rebekah Brooks told a Select Committee of


the House of Commons that News International had paid police in


2003, who was Home Secretary? 2003, I think John Reid was. No, it


was David Blunkett, and he did nothing about it. You add the


editor of the biggest-selling daily newspaper in the country saying


that she paid the police and the government did nothing about it.


look back on this time and the time when I was told that my phone was


hacked, and what is absolutely clear is that to take Philip's.,


with hindsight, all the signs of real trouble with their but we did


nothing. -- to take fill-up's point. For the record, David Blunkett now


works for News International. He writes a column and I think he is


an adviser. So you did nothing them. Let us move on. Andrew, just a


second... No, let me move on. 2006, the Information Commissioner


produces a devastating report showing that the illegal gathering


of information is endemic in the Fleet Street, endemic. News of the


World, definitely part of it, but not the worst. What did the Labour


government do about it? What happened then, and I have checked


this, we did introduce legislation to make forms of hacking a criminal


offence at that stage. But you did nothing to investigate the


information commissioner's report which showed these practices were


endemic. He looked at the other way. That is not true. We did legislate


in order to create a new offence in relation to a particular aspect of


hacking. I don't think it was implemented with that degree of


vigour because of broader concerns about prison numbers and so forth,


but we certainly did not simply turn our faces away from the


information. I have no knowledge of what you did. In July 2009, the


Guardian published a report which showed that the police


investigation which had only touched on one reporter and one


private detective had clearly been inadequate, otherwise News


International would not be shelling out �2 million, who was the Home


Secretary? It change rather a lot. It was Alan Johnson. And there was


no pressure from the government to reopen its investigation. I think


Alan has been on record on a number of occasions making clear that it


was not simply that he did nothing, he considered the evidence


available to them. At that stage, he did not pursue it. And then we


had... Journalism here has played a magnificent part in getting to the


bottom of this. It was not for journalists, we would not know.


When you look at this situation, with a country's most important


newspaper group seems to be interlocked with the police from


the very top down, and that there is a revolving door of job was


going back and forward, and some people are actually working for


both organisations at the same time, do not have to scratch yourself and


saying, are we living in London or -- London or Pola more? It looks


and feels very uncomfortable. Basically, we may have to start


again without the media works and how the police work. On the face of


the evidence we have before us, it is not working in a way that is


conducive to good governance. there not a need for a massive


clear-out of the London Metropolitan Police? Yeah, and


bathing for one thing I would say above all is that when they're


looking to replace Stephenson with a new commissioner, they have got


to look outside the Met for somebody to succeed him. Very


quickly, I do not want for the outstanding police officers, like


the officers who run the police forces in the boroughs that I


represent, to be denigrated. They are not a problem. They did not


hire Neil Wallis. They did not have 18 dinners with News International.


No one is attacking them. Let us speak up for the decent police and


not assume that all organisation is corrupt. You have done that, and


they do not think anybody is saying that is the case. If anybody


doubted it, you have set them right. The Prime Minister has returned


early from his trip to Africa. He had already cut it short ones to


address the Commons. We will bring that to you live. He will have to


give a good performance. He has to win over Tory backbenchers. As we


speak to them, they're really unhappy with how he has been


handling the hacking scandal. There is a 1922 Committee tonight, and


they seem to be cruising for a bruising with the Prime Minister


this evening. He has to show today that he is in command of the


situation. Downing Street has said coverage of the scandal has lost a


sense of perspective. Calls for the Prime Minister to resign have only


come from one or two quarters. Labour have also been criticised


for their links with News International and what they did or


did not do during their years in power. We could be in for a feisty


debate in the chamber. We do the parties stand?


The Prime Minister's troubles began with his decision to give former


News of the World editor Andy Coulson a second chance by hiring


him as his communications chief. He is now on police bail but denies


any wrongdoing. Yesterday, it emerged that the Prime Minister's


chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, turned down an offer to be briefed


turned down an offer to be briefed by the police on aspects of the


phone hacking inquiry. And we learnt that the former deputy


editor of the News of the World, Neil Wallis, also arrested in


connection with hacking allegations but not charged, had offered


but not charged, had offered informal advice to Andy Coulson


before the general election. Labour and Ed Miliband wanted to be seen


taking the lead over the hacking scandal. He called for Rebekah


Brooks to resign and the BSkyB bid to be blocked. But he is also faced


questions after he hired Tom Baldwin as his director of


communications. Earlier this year, a leaked e-mail from Tom Baldwin


showed he had discouraged MPs from linking their opposition to News


Corps takeover of BSkyB with allegations of phone hacking. --


News Corp's takeover. As for the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg


claims they are the only party not to have courted News International.


At Christmas, Vince Cable was caught in a secret recording saying


he had declared war on Rupert Murdoch and as a result, had


responsibility for considering News Corp's bid taken away from them.


Last week, he joked that he was delighted to discover that everyone


in Britain and House of Commons now Philip Hammond, your party not


content with hiring the editor of the newspaper at the centre of the


hacking row, you then went on to take advice from the deputy editor


of that newspaper. That was very smart. The story as I understand it


is that Neil Wallis may have been informally in contact with Andy


Coulson during the election campaign. He advised on the Tory's


election campaign. Not in a paid up as a bit, I imagine in a totally


voluntary capacity. -- not in a paid capacity. You get a lot of


free, unsolicited advice in a general election. Two of the people


advising your election campaign have now been arrested. Anybody


else advising you been arrested? That is an absurd extrapolation.


Andy Coulson was of course involved in the management of the election


campaign but the fact that somebody who used to wear quicken had a


conversation with him does not make that person and adviser to our


election campaign. Did you have any red -- any reservations about using


Andy Coulson? Might contact with Andy Coulson showed him to be


extremely professional. We were all aware of the issues around the


phone hacking story and the circumstances. Did you have


reservations? De Prime Minister, the then leader of the opposition,


dealt with those reservations by seeking an assurance from Andy


Coulson, which he was given... know all of that, I asked you a


simple question about you, did you have reservations about using as


your cheek spin-doctor someone from Mr Paulson's background? I would


have sought the same reassurances that the Prime Minister sought and


my understanding is he was given a clear assurances that there was no


connection, nothing to come out. Did you have any reservations?


I was satisfied by the reassurances the Prime Minister received. I


would be buried disappointed if it turns out we were lied to. -- be


very disappointed. By 2010 when you took him into government, was it


not clearly a mistake to take him into government? I don't think any


new evidence... De Clifford drs had been done. As opposed to innuendo,


I don't think any new evidence was available. By 2010, you knew that


News International had done deals, confidential deals, done in secret,


with two other people who had been hacked into on the defence from his


paper that no one else had been involved. Surely that should have


been a red flag that you needed to move on? Andy Coulson has


maintained his innocence throughout. He is entitled to be presumed


innocent until found otherwise. We have set up an inquiry which will


look into these matters for everybody to see the facts of what


was happening when and who knew what, and the Prime Minister has


made clear that if it turns out Andy Coulson's assurances were not


true, not only does he have no part to play in our politics but he has


serious charges to answer. If he has lied to you, to Parliament,


about being involved, he is obviously in serious trouble. If he


has lied, he goes to jail, you do not need to be Prime Minister to


know that. The Prime Minister has been out of the glen to for the


last 48 hours, why has there been a silence among Tories to defend him?


I have been on your programme twice in the last week, I have been on


Newsnight. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, normally when the party is in


trouble the chairman's job is to defend a party, where has she been?


As far as I am aware, she is around. Have you seen her? Yes.


television? No, in a cabinet meeting. Why isn't she out there


defending your beleaguered Prime Minister? Who goes on to which


programme to deal with the issues raised is a matter that gets


discussed between the party and broadcasters, and, as you know, it


depends partly on who the broadcasters asked to have and


partly on who the party wants to put up. There have been a number of


ministers out. I saw Damian Green on Newsnight last night, one of our


backbenchers the night before. not the party chair. We have not


seen her at all. We asked her to come on yesterday. You got me a


second best. She did not come on. Missing in action, maybe that is


the phrase we should use. Tessa Jowell, by the end of June,


it was clear that something was rotten in the state of Denmark,


that something was rotten about my macrosystem and the Murdochs were


at the centre of it. Why did you go to the Committee on July 2nd?


Because he was a good friend of mine. Was it a good idea to go to a


party like that for people who are accused of running a company that


has got in the way of a police investigation? Is it wise to mix


with these people? Are I think you stand by your friends. Elizabeth


never worked for News Of The World. Elizabeth is a successful


entrepreneur in her own right. you talk to James Murdoch? Ola.


Rebekah Brooks? I had a green -- a brief conversation with Rebekah


Brooks. What did you say? I met lots of my other friends, people I


do not necessarily see very often, and it was a lovely party. I was


not there for terribly long but I enjoyed going there and certainly


would not have declined invitation on the basis that you suggest.


James and Elisabeth Murdoch threw a party tonight, would you go?


think probably... The chances of entering a party for a long time


are remote. -- the chances of them throwing a party. And you never got


invited to the party at all because the family did not think you were


worth the time. A week ago you said on this programme that they thought


of us as left-wing and had no interest in us. It was a lucky get


out of jail card for you! I think it is a little unfair. Going to


parties is very different from some of the backdoor deals and sucking


up to and not taking the action. Earlier we were talking about what


we could be doing about it, we needed tougher regulations and


frankly were let down by the previous government to did not take


the action they should have done. Does any of this, given what we now


know about Mr Cameron, who became leader of the opposition saying he


would not follow in the Blair, Brown food stops when it came to Mr


Murdoch -- footsteps when it came to Mr Murdoch, what is the feeling


of the implication of this for the coalition? The first thing is we


have to end the back door meetings. We heard of Mr Murdoch being


invited through the back door of Number Ten to avoid the


photographers yesterday but it was obviously to try to keep the


meeting relatively quiet. When you see the Prime Minister, do you go


in the front or back door? crucial thing is that we have to


stop these backdoor deals. The Prime Minister said he would do


that and has published a list of all of us ministers -- all of his


meetings. Nick Clegg will be doing the same. For the record, when I


went to see the Prime Minister last week, I went through the front door.


I think we have to move on. I would rather we didn't, can we just go


back... We are even dropping Keith Vaz so that we can move on.


Well, forget Keith Vaz, it seems we have! The real killer blow that


really caught our eye was the 43- year-old rights of Rupert Murdoch,


Wendi Deng. -- wife of Rupert Murdoch. Here is a glimpse of her


The News Of The World is less than 1% of our company. We employed


53,000 people around the world who I hear you have been doing some


research and Wendi Deng? I don't often read this magazine. It is


always in your handbag! The Economist is wrapped around it!


Thank you, Andrew! Basically, they have done a profile on Wendi Deng


and the Murdochs, and she is no trophy wife. She is extremely smart,


extremely clever, and extremely protective, it seems, after


yesterday's a slap across the face. Not a left hook, as Tom Watson said.


Someone who never mixes up their left and right is Nick Robinson.


Did you like that segue? It was brilliant. You were there. Tell us


more. You said before we came on air that the Prime did hit Mr


Murdoch? I went on to the News Channel to describe what had


happened without realising none of you who were not in the room could


not see it. I was about four feet away from Mr Murdoch, and it was a


false circus moment. The whole foam pie was on his face for some time.


The Sun tells us it was a custard pie, you told us it was foam. Was


the son rank? Who would you believe, Nick Robinson or the son? De DEC


Wendi Deng's action? -- did you see? The speed with which she was


up was extraordinary, and she shouted when she had done it, I


have got him! Did she kick him when he was damned? No. Rupert Murdoch


sat completely impassive, I don't know whether it was shock or


whether it was an acceptance. It was remarkable, within seconds he


was having this foam white off his face, the chairman of the committee


said the public had to get out. James Murdoch was very anxious in a


way that a son would be of their father, he looked very upset,


started to berate the police about why they had not protected his


father. I think he used the phrase, this is a circus. In a bad week for


the police, the picture of the policemen trotting afterwards was


not a great image. It was not clever, was it? The fact that Wendi


Deng was able to get up with in a second and deal with it and the


police officer had to saunter across the room was not terribly


clever. I am sure Parliament does not want the site of witnesses


flanked by security guards and police officers, but it seems to


make will probably think a bit harder about how you protect people


from that sort of attack in the feature. I know the Speaker called


in the chairman. You have given him an excuse not to turn up, you


cannot guarantee security? You have. It is claimed that someone


whispered to James, this is all right, because they thought, in PR


terms, thank you very much, this is what we need. They removed some


protesters before the session even started so there had been some


effort. Though I am surprised, Mr Robinson, that you did not see,


being there, this man pull out a plate, pull out the foam! What did


you think, he was having his lunch?! Nick Robinson is now in the


dock of hindsight! In the dock of hindsight! I plead guilty. Although


if I could plead the Murdoch defence, I work for a big


organisation and cannot be responsible for everything. Let's


go into the dock of fore sight. The Prime Minister will be on his feet


in a minute. This is an important statement not just in content but


in how it goes down with his own party. That is absolutely right.


His party have come to despair that he can pull away from this crisis.


They are frustrated that the headlines have been dominated by it


for so long, but I think he needs to prove that he will not


constantly be dragged back by the past. I think he wants to say, what


matters is how we stop this happening again, hence the police


inquiry, the judge lead inquiry, whereas the Labour Party,


legitimately, one to say, there are a lot of questions about you and


your past and why you did not listen to the warnings before and


after the election about Andy Coulson and why on them, you let


him walk away at a time of his own choosing. That is the tussle, but


the point about his party is a good one, they are worried that despite


two big efforts to do this, he keeps being sucked back into


questions about what he did and why he did what he did with Andy


Some people will be saying we are on the brink of a major Eurozone


crisis which could well for all our banking system into turmoil and


that is why Parliament should not be in summer recess, not because of


this hacking scandal which has been obsessed with the media village.


This degree of criminality, the Prime Minister has been compromised


by the conflict of interest in appointing Andy Coulson. It is


profoundly important, but you're absolutely right to that across the


Channel, we are seeing European economies in meltdown. We are also


seeing the worst recorded famine in Africa. I think that to some extent,


the Select Committee hearings yesterday will call a pause in this.


Although, many people, and Nick Robinson will know better than us,


say that there is more and worse to come. It will still be there in the


headlines. Is there a danger that a combination of the police and News


International have hijacked our politics? I think politicians have


something to answer. We keep talking about the problem with the


police and the problem with journalists and it is not all


police or all journalists. There is also a problem with politicians


which needs to be addressed. Tessa Jowell cannot just have it that we


ask questions of the Prime Minister, we need to look back at the track


record of her party in government, the failure to take action on


numerous occasions, even the most recent one in terms of failure to


address the level of fines and punishments for people obtaining


illegal information. In the earlier part of the programme, of course, I


did ask Tessa Jowell about these matters. I'm trying to look forward.


And now you have a Prime Minister compromised by the appointment of


his director of communications. thought I was the one that was


meant to interrupt people! We have now got a judicial inquiry and


within that, another inquiry, ongoing major police investigations


involving 70 people, and I'm sure there will be other Select


Committee hearings. Is there a danger as a time of economic crisis


that this whole issue is hijacking our politics? I do not think it


will last much longer. The public appetite for this will fade away.


Politicians will go away on a summer break and we will then be


hit by a European funding crisis. As Tessa Jowell says, the famine in


Ethiopia, those issues will tend to dominate. Then we can get back to


getting on with those inquiries and other staff will no doubt emerge


which will race off -- resurface elsewhere. I still do not know the


answer to this question, when we heard any evidence yesterday that


Rebekah Brooks was away on holiday at the time of signing off the


Milly Dowler story, who actually signed it? I want to know the


answer. That will emerge at some point. Are you confident that this


story is going to disappear? I think I will be turning on my TV


set during the summer and something else will appear. That is my


opinion as well. I think there are many news organisations debating


these questions. Remember cash for honours? The difficulty for


politicians in Downing Street, Tony Blair had it and David Cameron had


it, they're not in control of this level of information. -- the flow


of information. Information is coming sometimes from the police,


sometimes from News International, sometimes from the lawyers. Just


this morning, for example, there is a court case in which the judge has


ordered the Mets to release information about the alleged


hacking of Jemima Khan and Hugh Grant, another front-page story


that the Prime Minister cannot deal with. Of course, they will try to


get back to talk about the economy. But they will find it difficult


because they will cause some may be -- there may -- there will


constantly be questions. We have former Prime Ministers in the dock


on oath and so on and so on. What about public appetite? Well that


continue? The polls have not shown a huge continued public appetite.


News Pollitt -- news organisations respond to the public like


politicians. If the media is making a statement about by chucking... --


pie chucking. I do not think we can go to that yet. Let us go and see


what the Speaker's policy on pies are. This investigation will be


entirely independent of the House authorities. Statement, the Prime


Minister. Thank you, Mr Speaker. With permission I would like to


make a statement. Over the past two weeks, a torrent of revelations and


allegations has engulfed some of this country's most important


institutions. It has shaken people's cross in the media and the


legality of all they do, in the police and their ability to


investigate media malpractice, and yes, in politics and politicians'


ability to get to grips with these issues. People desperately want us


to put a stop to the illegal practices, to ensure the


independence and effectiveness of the police, and to establish a more


healthy relationship between politicians and media owners. Above


all, they want us to Act on behalf of the victims, people who have


suffered dreadfully, including through murder and terrorism, and


to have had to relive that agony all over again because of phone


hacking. -- and to have had. The public want us to work together and


sort the problem out. Until we do so, it is impossible to get back to


the issues they care about even more, getting the economy moving,


creating jobs, helping with the cost of living, protecting us from


terrorism and restoring fairness to our welfare and immigration systems.


Let me set out the actions we have taken. We now have a well led


police investigation which will examine criminal behaviour by the


media and corruption in the police. We have set up a wide ranging and


independent judicial inquiry under Lord Justice Levison to establish


what went wrong, of why, and what we need to do to ensure that it


never happens again. I am the first Prime Minister to publish meetings


with media editors, proprietors, senior executives, to bring


complete transparency to the relationship between government


ministers and the media, stretching right back to the general election.


And the House of Commons, by speaking so clearly about its


revulsion at the phone hacking allegations, helped to cause of the


end of the News Corp bid for the rest of BSkyB. Today, I would like


to update the House on the action that we are taking. First on the


make-up and remit of the public inquiry. Second, on issues


concerning the police service. And third, I will answer at some length


all the key questions that have been raised about my role and that


of my staff. First, the judicial inquiry and the panel of experts


who will assist it. Those experts will be the civil liberties


campaigner and director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti, the former Chief


Constable of the West Midlands, Sir Paul Scott Lee, the former chairman


of Ofcom, Lord David Curry, a long- serving former political editor of


Channel 4 News Elinor Goodman, the former political editor of the


Daily Telegraph and former Special Correspondent of the Press


Association George Jones and the former chairman of the Financial


Times, Sir David Bell. These people have been chosen not only for their


expertise in the media, broadcasting, regulation and


policing, but for their complete independence from the interested


parties. Mr Speaker, I also said last week that the inquiry will


proceed in two parts and I set out a draft terms of reference. We have


consulted with justice Levison, with the opposition and chairs of


relevant Select Committees. I also talked to the family of Milly


Dowler Row and the Act of campaign. -- Milly Dowler. -- hacked off


campaign. The problem with the relationship between the press and


the police call was wider than just that met. We have agreed that the


inquiry should consider not just a relationship between press, police


and politicians of their individual conduct, too. We have also made it


clear that the inquiry should look not just that the press, but other


media organisations including broadcasters and social media, if


there is any evidence that they have been involved in criminal


activities. I am today placing in the library of the House the final


terms of reference. Lord Justice Weatherson and the panel will get


to work immediately. He will aim to make a report on the first part of


the inquiry within 12 months. There should be no doubt that this public


inquiry is as robust as possible. It is fully independent and Lord


Justice ladism will be able to summon witnesses under oath. --


Lord Justice Levenson. Let me turn to the events we have seen over the


past few days at the Met. On Sunday, Sir Paul Stephenson resigned as


Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. I want to thank him for the


work he is carried out in policing over many, many years and -- he has


carried out. On Monday, John Yates, assistant commissioner, also


resigned. By one to express my gratitude for the work he has done


in improving a response to terrorism. Given the departure of


two such senior officers, the first concern must be to ensure the


effective policing of our capital and confidence in that policing is


maintained. I have asked the Home Secretary to ensure that the


responsibilities of the matter will continue seamlessly. The current


deputy commissioner, Tim Godwin, who stood in for Sir Paul


Stephenson when he was ill, will shortly do so again. The vital


counter-terrorism job carried out by John Yates will be taken on by


the highly experienced Cressida Dick. The responsibility of the


Deputy Commissioner, of which the House will remember includes the


oversight of the investigations into hacking and into the police,


operation pleating and so on, will not be done it by someone inside


the Met, but instead by Bernard Holden how, who will join


temporarily from her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. We


are also looking to speed up the process for selecting and


appointing the next commissioner. We cannot hope that a change in


personnel at the top of the Met is enough. The simple fact is that all


fair raises huge it issues about the ethics and practices of Our


police. The vast majority of our police officers are beyond reproach


and serve the public with distinction. But police corruption


must be rooted out. The inquiry is charged with doing just that. I


believe we can and must do more. There are two problems. First, a


perception that when problems arise, it is the police investigating the


police. Second, a lack of transparency in terms of police


contract with the media. We are looking at both. These are the two


match point that on secretary dressed in her statement to this


House on Monday. -- these are the two points. We are looking to stand


back and take a broader look at all culture of policing in this country.


At the moment, the police system is to closed. There is only one point


of entry into the force. There are too few and arguably, to similar


candidates for the top job. Tom Windsor is looking into police


Careers and I want to see proposals for bringing in fresh leadership.


The Government is bringing in elected police and crime


institutions, assuring that there is an elected official holding the


local force -- the local force to account. We need to see if we can


extend that openness to the operational side, too. Why should


all police officers start at the same level? Why should someone with


a different but -- different skill sets not be able to join the police


source at a different role? -- at a different level? I believe we


should ask these questions to get a greater transparency and a stronger


corporate governance in Britain's policing. Finally, let me turn to


the specific questions that I have been asked in recent days. First,


it has been suggested that my chief of staff was behaving wrongly when


he did not take up John Yates' offer to be briefed on police


investigations around phone hacking. I have said repeatedly about the


police investigation that they should pursue the evidence was ever


at Leeds and arrest exactly who they wish, and that is exactly what


they have done. Number 10 has now published the full e-mail exchange


between my chief of staff and John Yates and it shows that my staff


behaved entirely properly. Ed Llewellyn's reply to the police


made clear that it would not be appropriate to give me or my staff


any privileged briefing. The reply that he sent was cleared in advance


by my permanent secretary, Jeremy a word. Just imagine if they had done


the opposite, if they had asked for acquiesced in receiving privileged


information, even if there was no intention to use it. There would


To risk any perception that Number Ten was seeking to influence a


sensitive police investigation in any way would have been completely


wrong. Mr Yates and Sir Paul both backed this in their evidence


yesterday. John Yates said, the offer was properly and


understandably rejected. The Cabinet Secretary and the chair of


the Home Affairs Select Committee have both now backed that judgment,


too. Next, there is the question of whether the ministerial code was


broken in relation to the BSkyB merger and meetings with News


International executives. The Cabinet Secretary has ruled very


clearly that the code was not broken, not least because I had


asked to be entirely excluded from the decision. Next, I would like to


set the record straight on another question that arose yesterday,


whether the Conservative Party had also employed Neil Wallis. The


Conservative Party chairman has assured that all accounts have been


gone through and has confirmed to make that neither Neil Wallis nor


his company has ever been employed by or contracted by the


Conservative Party, nor has the Conservative Party made payments to


either of them. It has been drawn to our attention... It has been


drawn to our attention that he may have provided Andy Coulson with


informal advice on a voluntary basis before the election. To the


best of my knowledge, I did not know anything about this until


Sunday night. But as we do with feeling this information, we will


be entirely transparent about this issue. -- ASDA with a revealing of


this information. Finally, there is the question whether everyone, the


police, media, politicians, is taking responsibility in an


appropriate manner. I want to redress my own responsibilities


very directly, which brings me to my decision to employ Andy Coulson.


I have said very clearly that, if it turns out Andy Coulson knew


about the hacking at the News Of The World, he will not only have


lied to me but to the police, to a select committee, to the Press


Complaints Commission, and, of course, perjured himself in a court


of law. More to the point, if that comes to pass, he could also expect


to face severe criminal charges. I have that old fashioned view about


innocent until proven guilty. But if it turns out I have been lied to,


that would be a moment for a profound apology, and in that event


I could tell you I will not fall short. My responsibilities are for


hiring him and for the work he did in Downing Street. On the work he


did, I will repeat, perhaps not for the last time, that his work at


Downing Street has not been the subject of any serious complaint


and, of course, he left months ago. On the decision to hire him, I


believe I have answered every question about this. It was my


decision, I take responsibility, people will, of course...


apologise for interrupting. The house must come to order and here


in silence the remainder of the statement. -- and hear. People will


of course make judgments about it. Of course I regret and am sorry


about the few Rory it has caused. With 20/20 hindsight and all that


has followed, I would not have offered him the job and suspect he


would not have taken it, but you do not make decisions in hindsight,


you make them in the present. You live and you learn and, believe you


me, I have learned. Now, I look forward to answering any and all


questions about these issues and, following this statement, I will


open the debate. But the greatest responsibility I have is to clear


up this mess, so let me finish by saying this: there are accusations


of criminal behaviour by parts of the press and potentially the


police where the most proud -- most rapid and decisive action is


required. There are issues with media groups and owners where


Labour and Conservative have to make a fresh start. There is the


history of missed warnings, select committee report, Information


Commissioner reports, missed by the last government and missed by the


official opposition, too. What the public expects is not petty


political point scoring... What they want, what they deserve, his


concerted action to rise to the level of events and pledged to work


together to sort this issue out once and for all, and it is in that


spirit that I commend this statement to the house. Mr Ed


Miliband. Can I start by thanking the Prime Minister, Mr Speaker, for


his statement. Recalling Parliament was the right thing to do because


we building trust in the press, police and politics is essential


for our society. The most powerful institutions in the land must show


the responsibility we expect from everybody else. That is why the


country wants answers from those involved in the crisis so that


those responsible can be held to account and so we, as a country,


can look forward to address all the issues the Prime Minister mentioned


in his statement. That is why I welcome Lord Teverson's inquiry and


the announcement of the terms of reference and indeed the panel


members chosen by the Prime Minister for that purpose. It is


why I welcome the Prime Minister's agreement with us about the need


for the Press Complaints Commission to be replaced. It is why I welcome


the apology from Rupert Murdoch and the withdrawal of the BSkyB bid,


and it is why every respect the decision of Sir Paul Stephenson to


stand down so that going forward the leadership of the Met Police


can focus on the vital work that is necessary. So we are beginning to


see answers given and responsibility taken, and that is


right. But the Prime Minister knows that he must do the same if the


country is to move forward. The Prime Minister, I have a number of


questions for the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister said in his


statement... Order, I said a few moments ago that the remainder of


the Prime Minister's statement should be heard in silence. Order!


I say the same two members who are now heckling. Think of what the


public thinks of our behaviour. Order! And stop it without delay.


Mr Ed Miliband. Mr Speaker, let me start with BSkyB. The Prime


Minister said in his statement something he said on a number of


occasions, that he was excluded from the formal decision-making


process. With respect, that does not answer the questions he has


been asked. Last Friday he revealed that since taking office he had met


representatives of News International or News Corp,


including Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch, on the 26 separate


occasions. So the first question I have for the Prime Minister is


whether he can assure the House that the BSkyB bid was not raised


in any of those meetings or phone calls with those organisations, and


whether he can also say, whether at any time he discussed the bid with


the culture secretary or any of his officials discussed at the bid with


the Culture Secretary? Let me turn to Andy Coulson. 10 days ago the


Prime Minister said about his decision to employ Andy Coulson, I


was not given any specific information that would lead me to


change my mind. Mr Speaker, the country has a right to expect that


the Prime Minister would have made every effort to uncover the


information about Andy Coulson, to protect himself and his office. Yet


the pattern of events suggest the opposite, that the Prime Minister


and those around him made every effort not to hear the facts about


Mr Coulson. In the last week, we have become aware of five


opportunities for the Prime Minister or his staff to have acted


on specific information that would surely have led him to change his


mind about Mr Coulson. All of them were declined. His chief of staff,


Ed Llewellyn, was told in February, 2010, that Mr Coulson had hired a


convicted criminal to work at the News Of The World who was accused


of making payments to police on behalf of the newspaper. Even


Rebekah Brooks said yesterday that this decision was extraordinary,


yet the Prime Minister's chief of staff apparently did nothing with


the information. In May, 2010, the Deputy Prime Minister warned the


Prime Minister about bringing Mr Coulson into Downing Street. He did


nothing. On September 1st, 2010, the New York Times published an


investigation quoting multiple sources saying Mr Coulson knew


about hacking which was rife at the News Of The World. We now know from


John Yates that article was enough to lead the police to reopen their


inquiries and it led to Operation Weeting. We also know now it


triggered the termination of the Metropolitan Police's contract with


Neil Wallis, Mr Coulson's former deputy at the News Of The World,


and it led to the offer by Mr Yates to Ed Llewellyn for the Prime


Minister to be breached. The Cabinet Secretary has said it was


right the offer was not taken up, but the question is why? Because it


would seem... Because the Prime Minister was compromised by his


relationship with Mr Coulson, and therefore could not be told


anything at all about an investigation concerning a member


of his own staff. He was hamstrung by a conflict of interest. But, Mr


Speaker, the Prime Minister should not have had to rely on briefings


from his cheek of staff. Here was a major investigation published by a


leading global newspaper about the Prime Minister's director of


communication. Mr Speaker, the Met fired Mr Wallace even though he was


not mentioned in the article, because of the association's he had


with Mr Coulson and the publication of the article. And what did the


Prime Minister do? He did nothing. Mr Speaker, given the New York


Times Book of evidence, the public will rightly have expected very


loud alarm bells to ring in the Prime Minister's mind, yet


apparently he did nothing. Then in October the Prime Minister's chief


of staff was approached again by the Guardian about the serious


evidence they had about Mr Coulson's behaviour. Once more,


nothing was done. Mr Speaker, this cannot be put down to gross


incompetence. It was a deliberate attempt to hide from the fact about


Mr Coulson. Order! Members are shouting out should not be doing so,


they must calm themselves, keep on an even keel, it is better for


their health and the house. Mr Ed Miliband. The Prime Minister, Mr


Speaker, was caught in a tragic conflict of loyalty between the


standards and integrity that people should expect of him and his staff


and his personal allegiance to Mr Coulson. He made the wrong choice.


He chose to stick with Mr Coulson. So, Mr Speaker, my second question


is, can he now explain why he failed to act on clear information,


and why those around him build a wall of silence between the facts


and the Prime Minister? The Prime Minister's conflict of interests


had a real effect. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner resigned on


Sunday. The Prime Minister did not talk about the reasons for his


regulation but the house must talk about it. -- for his resignation.


Sir Paul Stephenson was trapped between a Home Secretary angry at


not being told about the hiring of Mr Coulson's Deputy Neil Wallis and


Sir Paul's belief that, in his own words, doing so would have


compromised the Prime Minister, compromised him because of Mr


Coulson. Why did Sir Paul think that? Because his own deputy, John


Yates, had been told by the Prime Minister's chief of staff that the


Prime Minister should be told nothing. So, Mr Speaker, this


catastrophic error of judgment, hiring Andy Coulson, hanging on for


him too long, directly contributed to the position Sir Paul found


himself in and his decision to resign. My third question, Mr


Speaker, is does the Prime Minister accept that his conflict of


interest for the Metropolitan -- put the Metropolitan Police


Commissioner in an impossible position? Three questions are about


BSkyB, warnings about Mr Coulson that were consistently ignored, and


about the Met Police Commissioner. These and many other questions will


have to be answered by the Prime Minister over the coming months.


But there is one other question which matters now. He says that in


hindsight he made a mistake by hiring Mr Coulson. He says that if


Mr Coulson lied to him, he would apologise. Mr Speaker, that is not


good enough. It is not about hindsight, Mr Speaker. It is not


about whether Mr Coulson or lied to him. It is about all of the


information and warnings that the Prime Minister ignored. He was


warned, and he preferred to ignore the warnings. So that the country


can have the leadership we need, why doesn't he do more than give a


half apology and provide the full apology now for hiring Mr Coulson


and bringing him into the heart of What I would say to the honourable


gentleman is, stop hunting conspiracy theories and start


rising to events. Most of that was a tissue of... I will try to answer


every point, but let me first thank him for what he said about


recalling Parliament and about Lord Levison. Let the thank him for what


he said about the panel. -- let me thank him. On most of the other


questions, I feel he wrote to the questions before he heard my


statement. He asks about the issue of BSkyB. The Cabinet Secretary has


said there was no breach of the ministerial code. You heard the


evidence of Rebekah Brooks yesterday saying there was not one


single and appropriate conversation. Where comes to setting up meetings


with News Corporation, I have set out every single meeting since last


session. The honourable gentleman published a list this morning but


it does not go back to the last election. Indeed, when are we going


to see the transparency from Tony Blair and from Gordon Brown. --?


Second, his questions about Andy Coulson. The houses getting over-


excited again. I am glad it has now calmed down. Let me just remind him


of this point. No one has raised a single question about Andy


Coulson's conduct at Number Ten. There is only today one party


leader with a News International executive sitting in his office.


The questions he raises about my chief-of-staff, Ed Llewellyn. Is he


honestly saying that when it comes to this issue of the proposed


meeting with John Yates, is the Leader of the Opposition suggesting


that he knows better than the chairman of the Home Affairs Select


Committee, than the Cabinet Secretary, than John Yates, Sir


Paul Stephenson and all these people, including Jeremy Heywood,


who worked diligently for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown? Is the same


all of those people are wrong and he is right? I think that shows a


staggering lack of judgment. Let me answer the question about Sir


Paul's resignation. I know it is inconvenient for the right


honourable gentleman, but Sir Paul Stephenson set out the reasons for


his resignation yesterday in detailed evidence and explained how


the situation was so different to the situation in Number Ten. Most


of the questions he asked I had already answered. The role of the


chief of staff, answered, the parallels with the Metropolitan


Police, answered, the role of Mr Wallis, answered. Let us be clear


about what we heard yesterday, Rupert Murdoch said "The politician


I was closest to was Gordon Brown as Chancellor." Let us just


remember, who was the adviser when Gordon Brown was the Chancellor?


STUDIO: Were going to leave proceedings for a moment. -- we are


going. We have heard comments from the Prime Minister and the Leader


of the Opposition. We will bring you more of these exchanges between


backbenchers on both sides of the House and the Prime Minister. Let


us take stock of where we are. The Prime Minister announced the


composition of the Levison judicial inquiry into the media, the police


and politics. Three journalists, which may raise an eyebrow in some


quarters. To many, some may think, but also a former Ofcom director, a


former police chief, and Shami Chakrabarti, the Liberty director.


It is a panel of six plus the judge himself. Interesting that the Prime


Minister announced that the inquiry will be widened, not just a


relationship between police, press and politicians, but their


individual conduct, too. It looks like broadcasters and social media


are going to be included as well, which will make it a very broad


inquiry. Perhaps quite a long sitting. Before I get the reaction,


a couple of e-mails. Yes, we have had e-mails to the


initial statement from David Cameron. This has come from


Bernard's in Worcestershire. "David Cameron is trying to apportion all


the blame on to the police and trying to use this as an excuse to


change the way people are recruited into the police. This is not just


about alleged corruption, it is about corrupt relationships between


the media and the politicians." "Calls and lied to him, that excuse


is very pathetic. -- that Andy Coulson lied to him." This is from


a man in Manchester. "Once again, we get politicians buying time in


the hope that after the recess, it will have blown over." "In the


meantime, bankers receive �14 billion in bonuses." No-name on


this one. "Labour are intent on raising minor issues when the issue


of Eurozone crisis looms ever larger." And this from David in


Bury St Edmunds: "People do not want to see Labour politicians


trying to score party political points, it trivialises it." The


Prime Minister has come as close as you can get to saying "In


retrospect, it was a mistake to higher Andy Coulson.


" He is saying that if he had foreseen what was going to happen,


he would not have offered him the job. I'm sure he is right in saying


that Andy Coulson would not have wanted to take the job.


retrospect, the Prime Minister is saying this. The Prime Minister is


saying now, in respect, it was a mistake. It was a judgment that he


made at the time as he has been upfront about saying it was his


decision, that he takes responsibility for. He sought


assurances as he was given them. He has said to us that if it turns out


that those assurances were lies, then he will all an apology and he


will deliver it. It looks like it was a mistake. We do not know of.


That is will the Prime Minister has said and he has never gone this far


before. He also said he believes in the presumption of innocence until


guilt is proven. I think we have to be careful. I understand that, but


I was not talking about guilt or innocence. Leader of the Opposition


document of a number of occasions, warnings from Mr Clegg and the New


York Times report, Mr Yates himself, when evidence was growing that it


had been a mistake to hire Mr Coulson and yet the Prime Minister


ignored them. Why? The Nick Clegg example. He has said himself that


he brought no evidence for a new information, he simply expressed a


view that he was uncomfortable with the decision to hire Andy Coulson.


That is fair enough. But what Ed Miliband is trying to do this


morning, instead of rising to the occasion and expressing a wish to


work together to sort this out, and he is inviting people to look at


issues with the benefit of Tyneside -- Heinz state, reinterpreting


things with the benefit of what we now know, in a way that is


completely inappropriate. From the evidence I have seen, I think the


information, or tittle tattle brought to Downing Street and to


Peace People in Mr Cameron's staff, was dealt with appropriately. It


would be wrong for him to have had a private briefing with John Yates,


as Sir: All -- Sir Gus O'Donnell and Keith Vaz have acknowledged. It


seems to me that Ed Miliband is clutching at straws trying to


reinterpret the stuff of. You think incredible investigative reporting


of the New York Times in September and the Guardian in October was


tittle-tattle? They were people of... You call them tittle-tattle.


Some of what was brought to David Cameron's staff... You said the New


York Times. I did not. It is easy from where we sit right now, with a


picture of wrong doing emerging, to put these in context, begging the


question, why would they not acted upon? At the time, they were


isolated of -- isolated piece of journalistic work, of which sat in


confirmation of the fact that the investigation was completed.


now we know what the police were saying that. With the best of that


of hindsight. -- with the benefit of hindsight. Tessa Jowell, four


questions there to the Prime Minister. In the end, demanding a


full apology for hiring Mr Coulson. In the grand scheme of things, you


think anyone outside the Westminster village cares whether


he gives a full apology are not? Whether we're talking to ourselves


or to the contrary, I'm aware of this question. He said it was a


mistake. By have had more e-mails about this and the BSkyB bid that I


have had since fox-hunting 13 years ago. -- than I have had. I think we


could have a much broader discussion about that. This comes


back to not that the Prime Minister disregarded tittle-tattle and idle


gossip. There were four or five serious representations to


challenge his judgment about taking Andy Coulson into the heart of


Downing Street. I understand that. On the leader made these points,


but in the grand scheme of things, does a full apology...? Everybody,


everybody from the Prime Minister down is saying yeah, it was a


mistake. For people-watching today, who may be worried about their jobs


and prices rising and living standards, whether or not is a full


apology, does it matter? There has to be a moment of absolutely


unqualified apology from which the inquiry can then take over. I


absolutely accept all the strictures about people being in


this until proven guilty. We're not even talking about that, we are


simply talking about whether he was the right man for the job. Whether


he is guilty of criminality is a different issue. Let me ask you,


who among us and permissions -- in positions of responsibility has not


made a wrong appointment? We all have. So? And if you make a wrong


appointment, you warm up to the fact that you made the wrong


appointment. The Prime Minister has been clear, he accepts


responsibility for the apartment. Here, you had warnings that could


not have been clearer. -- for the appointment. And he made a mistake.


Who among us has not made a mistake? But I think, Andrew, it is


a question of the scale of the mistake and what we now see is the


Prime Minister constraints by the conflict of interest that Andy


Coulson began. One of the viewer has suggested that we should make a


deal but when Gordon Brown apologises for selling the gold


reserves when they were $300 an ounce, and his is now 1600, and Mr


Cameron can apologise for Mr Coulson. I think that is a good


deal. There is not a politician of a senior level he does not -- who


has not done things for which they should apologise, but let's not


lose focus on this specific issue in relation to the Prime Minister's


judgement. Do you believe it important that the Prime Minister


issues a full apology? No. I do not understand why we're so obsessed


with this particular issue. But Prime Minister was given advice by


Nick Clegg and others that this was not an advisable Parliament. Why


did they give that advice? Not because they knew of any criminal


wrongdoing or that he was not suitable for the job, it was about


the impression it would create. That was sorely it. So far, if he


is still innocent until proven guilty, we see that it made an even


worse in question -- and even worse impression than we might have


expected. It is an error of judgment but it is not the crucial


issue. I think we had a powerful statement from the Prime Minister


giving us details of the inquiry and extending and detailing the


remit of that inquiry. I think the section to broadcasting is a huge


mistake. Telling us what Mauresmo to be done about the concerns of


the British people, which is corruption in the police are


concerned about a Lee Bowyer committee by the press. Telling us


what more is to be done. Given our previous discussion, with an eye on


the back of his head to his own backbenches, the Prime Minister


wanted to appear decisive and in control. And there is another


crucial thing. He wanted to appear like he got it about Andy Coulson.


He was being brought down every time he tried to talk about an


inquiry or the police or the press or even politicians pay in general.


He was being dragged back to that decision about Andy Coulson. Taking


what would have been a big step to take about someone he still


describes as a friend and admits that he met at Chequers after his


resignation, he has done it for political reasons and he has said


with 2020 hindsight, he wished he had not appointed Mr Coulson. You


live and learn was his Murrell phrase, believe me I have learnt. -


- memorable phase -- memorable He says people will make judgments


about it and of course I regret and am sorry for the furore it has


caused, which is as close as anything to say he regrets it.


Ed Miliband is doing is this, making an investment for the future


for the reasons we said, this is not the end of the matter, Mr


Coulson will or will not be charged, will or will not face court action,


orders, too. Ed Miliband is trying to lodge in the public's mind that


there was what he regards as a catastrophic error of judgment. He


is also trying to say this is the Prime Minister -- the sort of Prime


Minister who is deaf to criticism, that when people say, you are


making a mistake, he does not listen. I would be surprised if


that is not be issued next week when the economic figures come out


saying growth is not great in this country and he will again say Mr


Cameron is the sort of man who does not listen to the warnings he is


given. I think this is an investment by the Labour Party and


a theme about the Prime Minister put it is a reflection that


politically I felt this story, currently, isn't going very far,


that there was not much debate about the inquiry or police. If we


look back in 10 years, there is one thing we have not discussed at all,


which may be the most significant. The Prime Minister signalled he


wants to smash the way the police force is currently run. He wants to


bring in chief officers from abroad, bring in officers directly rather


than recruiting from the ground. In other words, he thinks the culture


of the police force in Britain is wrong and needs, and I don't use


the word lightly, to be smashed. And he is even bringing in the two


net investigations currently going on, one into the hacking scandal


and the other into corruption in the police, he is bringing in the


former head of the Liverpool Merseyside police to be who they


will report to and not a policeman in the Met Police, the implication


is that he is not sure he can trust the matter. -- trust them at police.


What do you make of the composition of the judicial inquiry? I think it


is a very distinguished inquiry. All of us know a number of the


members of it. Are there too many journalists? Three out of the six.


Eleanor Goodman, Channel 4 political editor formally, George


Jones, former Daily Telegraph political editor, was a journalist


of mine at the Sunday Times, David Bowie, former Financial Times


journalist. I think they are all regarded right across the spectrum


as journalists of great distinction and independence who believe in the


highest values. So you don't think the public will think, we have


already criticised the PCC for being journalists investigating


journalists, there are too many? Are I think the hearings will sit


in public, went they? I think you have always got to think about how


the public are engaged and a continuing basis, rather than in


inquiry like this disappearing into a room in White Wolf -- in


Whitehall behind closed doors. But that depends on the public's


continuing appetite. They will be calling the Murdoch's again. They


will be calling Nick Robinson. knows! I think there will be a


different criticism made, which is they are political journalists. I


think the people who produce tabloid newspapers who say it is a


competitive market and they are fighting to retain successful


businesses will say people like me and them do not get the things you


have to do in order to get tabloid stories. I am not dogear that


criminality, of course, but that you live in the closed world of


chatting to not friends who are politicians in context and I would


not be surprised if Paul Baker who runs the Daily Mail will say, who


gets what it takes to produce a tabloid? Let me ask you about this


broadening of the rematch for broadcasters and social media.


Broadcasters you can kind of understand, social media seems to


me to be as long as a piece of string? What happened, as I


understand it, if somebody had the bright idea of extending the remit,


produced an early day motion and thrust it in under the noses of


select committee chairs who signed it and I told to a couple is said,


I am not sure why I did that. I think it is a big, big mistake


because the broadcasting regulation is very different from the press


regulation. I think it is much tougher already, there are no real


concerns about issues to do with who owns the media, we need to sort


that out, and once you get into social media we will be bogged down


the years. But the great thing about having so many journalists,


and if I, on the earlier point, is that all three are good at asking


tough questions, and that is what a thing, above all, it is not just


their experience within the media that their ability to ask the right


questions cricket. The reason I suspect broadcasting is included is


that the distinction between broadcasting and print is less and


less need -- less meaningful. And too has his -- Andrew has his iPad


there. There are long-term questions about the business and I


would say it is hard to make the distinction that is currently made.


We will not have any newspapers left by 20 -- 2020! It is a vast,


vast topic. We are going to say goodbye to our panel this morning,


we thank you for being with us on another interesting morning.


One extra thing that was announced just before the statement, a


parliamentary investigation has been launched by the tend of a man


to attack at Rupert Murdoch with shaving foam yesterday. He will


appear before magistrates court but they will have a parliamentary


investigation tip. We have been keeping an eye on


proceedings in the Commons and will pick up on David Cameron's response


to Ed Miliband, where he criticise Labour's close relationship with


News International. Let us remember who was the adviser


to Gordon Brown when he was the Chancellor? The Right Honourable


Gentleman! On the issue of the action we have taken, let us


remember during the last Parliament reports of the Information


Commissioner ignored, reports of the select committee, ignored, the


failure of the police investigation, ignored. We know exactly which


party was, if you like, the slumber party, and it was the party


opposite. Frankly, everyone can see exactly what he is doing, and ate


hands to play this for narrow party advantage. The problem has been


taking place over many years. The problem is for both our main


parties, and the problem is one that the public expect us to stop


playing with it to rise to the occasion and deal with it for the


good of the country. Order! Mr David Davies. Under the previous


Labour government, when my Right Honourable Friend the Member for


Ashford Damian Green was arrested by the Metropolitan Police, the


Prime Minister and Home Secretary of the day were not notified of the


details of that investigation. At the time, the Labour front bench in


this did -- insisted that they were not told. Is it not therefore the


case that not only has Mr Ed Llewellyn not done wrong, but has


done exactly what are public servants should do and to say


otherwise is hypocrisy? He makes a very good point. When you read the


exchange of e-mails and you see what Ed Llewellyn said, you see


that it was cleared in advance by Jeremy Hayward, it was absolutely


right. We do not live in a country where the Prime Minister orders who


should be arrested and who The Home Secretary made a statement


on Monday of over 1,000 words, but the two words Neil Wallis were not


mentioned. She, like me, was not aware of his appointment, but we


were not in a situation where Neil Wallis' best buddy was working for


us. The Prime Minister was. Did he know that Neil Wallis was giving


advice to the Metropolitan Police? No I didn't know that. And as I


have said, in relation to the work he did for Andy Coulson, I was not


aware of that. This is an important point because one of the issues is


the transparency and information that there was about Neil Wallis


and the Metropolitan Police. One thing everybody has to say about 10


Downing Street, there was no hiding the fact we had employed Andy


Coulson. Mr Simon Hughes. I joined the Prime Minister in paying


tribute to Paul Stephenson and thank him for the announcements he


has made, but will he explicitly say that he accepts that all


governments from this one back, five the 20 years, have been far


too close to the media giants in this country, and that that has to


end, which means no more back door visit to Number Ten? And that we


should be able to have not just sight of party political papers but


if necessary cabinet papers and the recommendations of the Information


Commission and others should be implemented to increase criminal


penalties for criminality immediately. I accept that point he


makes about transparency. What I have set out is not just official


meetings with media executives and proprietors but also private


meetings as well, and in relation to a meeting I held with Rupert


Murdoch, the fact is not whether he came through the front or back door,


but was it declared in the proper way? Yes, it was. In the old days,


the only way you found out if Rupert Murdoch has met someone was


to wait for Alistair Campbell's diaries! We have been transparent


about this, going back to the election, including private and


official meetings, whether at Chequers or Downing Street, and I


think we need to go further in this regard and this should be the new


standard. I say to the right honourable gentleman who published


information from when he became leader of the Labour Party, why can


we not see back to the general election? Mr Jack Straw. When the


Prime Minister read of the extensive investigation in the New


York Times on the 1st September last year, what was his reaction to


that, and what did he do? question I asked myself all the way


through his, is there new information that Andy Coulson knew


about hacking at the News Of The World? I could not be clearer about


this. If it turns out he knew about the hacking, he will have lied to


the select committee, police, to a court of law, and to me. I made the


decision to employ him in good faith because of the assurances he


gave me. There was no information in that article that would have led


me to change my mind about those assurances. But if it turns out...


As I said, I could not be clearer, if it turns out that he knew about


the hacking, then that will be a matter of huge regret, great


apology, a disgrace not only that he worked in government but also,


vitally, something that will be subject to criminal prosecutions.


Mr John Whittingdale. Does my right honourable friend agree that what


people really care about is the appalling revelations of what has


been going on in the newsroom at the News Of The World and the


involvement of the Metropolitan Police, and that the public anger


about that is expressly found by thousands of hard-working and


honest journalists and thousands of dedicated and courageous police


officers? For that reason, it is essential that the police


investigation should be completed as quickly as possible, the IPCC's


investigation should be completed and the judicial requiring --


judicial inquiry should be completed as soon as possible, and


canny give assurance they will be given the priority they should have


been given a long time ago. He is entirely right. At the absolute


heart of this we have got to keep the victims of the hacking scandal,


and those are people who suffered appallingly already and were made


to suffer all over again. The key thing here is the extent and scale


of the judicial inquiry. An inquiry like this into the media,


malpractice, the police and politicians, too, has not been held


for many years. It has been talked about and debated and will now be


underway, and I wanted to get on with its work as rapidly as


possible. Tom Robson. I must challenge the Prime Minister on the


accuracy of one of his assertions. He said that nobody raised Andy


Coulson's conduct with him whilst he worked for the Prime Minister. I


did in a letter on 4th October last year after new allegations that he


had listened to tapes of intercepted voicemail messages came


through, and they said in the letter that this cast doubt on the


accuracy of Mr Coulson's Stegmann. I am still waiting for a reply. --


Mr Coulson's statement. Let me pay tribute to the honourable gentleman


and what he has done. But the point I am making is simply this, that


the time that Andy Coulson spent at Number Ten Downing Street, the work


he did for the government, no one has complained against, and that


seems to me to be important, because what I have said is that I


gave him a second chance after he had resigned from the News Of The


World because of what happened under his watch, and no one has


raised with me any of his conduct at Number Ten while he carried out


The Prime Minister has said that contact with the media will be


published since the general election. I have to say they do not


think that is good enough. We need to know the context of that the


Government -- the contacts that the Government have had over the last


10 years with the media and an investigation into the Home Office


and what they were doing. This inquiry is specifically looking at


the relationship between politicians and the media and at


the request of Hacked Off and the down -- our family, the conduct of


both. -- downer family. I think we'll need to be clear,


particularly the two main parties, that the level of contact has been


too great and we spent too much time trying to get on with media


companies to get our message across. As a result, we have put on the


back-burner too often the result -- the issues of how to regulate the


media. That is the mistake we made. We have to be honest about that. It


is not just the relationship with News International, it is also


about the work we do try to win over the BBC or the Independent or


the Guardian. Let us be frank and transparent about the meetings we


have had. Then we can learn lessons and use this as a cathartic moment


to sort out the relationship. not sure that the Prime Minister


was a wake at 5:00am this morning, but I'm glad to hear that. The Home


Affairs Committee published a unanimous report which points out


the fact that we believe there were serious misjudgments in the police


investigation. As well as that, that News International had


deliberately thwarted the investigation. He will not have a


chance to read the evidence of Lord MacDonald who said he took five


minutes to look at the file to realise there was criminality. The


file was with his firm for four years. Will the send the message


out that anyone who has information about this matter should handed


over immediately to Sue Akers and explain why it has been withheld.


will send out that message from this dispatch box at the same time


as thanking the right honourable gentleman for the workers'


committee has done. I did not look at all the evidence of a look that


the key conclusions of the report. I think the work is committee is


doing, drilling into the conduct of News International and the police,


is extremely valuable. We now have to lead the police investigation


happen, properly resourced, to get underway, to get to the truth and


make the proper conclusions. I think the right honourable


gentleman has played a good role in making that happen. Does the Prime


Minister share my concern that at a time when this House is involved in


a very important discussion about this awful issue of phone hacking,


and at a time when most people and the country are most concerned


about what is going on in the Eurozone area and the impact that


that might have on their jobs and their employment in this country,


that the Leader of the Opposition is so narrowly focused on party


political points? The point a wall made to all honourable members is


that the public want us to sort this out. One of the reasons they


want us to do it on a cross-party basis is they want us to get on to


the other issues that they care so deeply about. Everyone has to


recognise the threat and the problems that we face. There are


difficulties in the Eurozone that will affect us in the UK. I


understand and recognise that we have to deal with this before we


can get on with those dishes. his conversations with the Murdochs,


with Mrs Brooks and other News Corp people, was there ever any mention


of the BSkyB Brit -- BSkyB bid? There was never a conversation that


could have been held in front of the Select Committee. He asked me


to answer the question, perhaps he will now be transparent, as he was


Culture Secretary, about all the contacts he has had with News


International over the years. I have set out the clearest possible


position. It is for others to now do the same thing. In light of


Rebekah Brooks' revelations about her cosy relationship was between


Tony Blair and News International, and the secret backdoor meetings


under both the last and present governments, does the Prime


Minister agree that this explains why successive governments have


been so reluctant to Act in response to the 2003 Culture, Media


and Sport recommendation, the 2006 Media Report and the call from Lib


Dem MPs for a judicial inquiry last year. People should not showered


the honourable lady down because she is making a valid point. It


does not reflect well on Labour or can the Conservatives. There were


warnings about what was going on from the Select Committee. We did


not put the issue of regulating the media high up and off -- high up


the agenda. We need to work on this and get it right, respond to those


reports and put some of these proposals into the law. My right


honourable friend the member who chairs the Home Affairs Committee


referred earlier to the file compiled in 2007 which was sent off


to Harbottle and Lewis. In that, according to the former GP, there


is blindingly obvious elements that police officers were paid for


information by the newspaper. News International are still refusing to


allow that to be fully considered and are insisting on client


confidentiality so Harbottle and Lewis are an important British firm


and they are unable to put their side of the argument across. Is


this not clear evidence that News International, contrary to the


potential military yesterday, are still refusing to co-operate fully?


The point I would make is that that information if it is important to


the inquiry, needs to be given to the police and to the inquiry. We


need for the police and the inquiry to go in pursuit of the truth. If


people have been paying police officers, those police officers


need to be prosecuted and the people who did the paying need to


be prosecuted. It is as simple as that. After hearing the evidence


given to the Home Affairs Select Committee, can I warmly welcome


what my honourable friend has said today that the attention given to


the victims of phone hacking, including a wide variety of people


including many members of the public who have suffered tragedies?


Is aware that in the evidence, it emerges that it will take a


considerable rate of time -- length of time of the current rate of


process for all of those to be contacted? Will be do what they can


to make sure those are investigated? I take the point.


With the current rate of progress, it could take too long a time to


get this done. I know there will be conversations with the police and


the Metropolitan Police Authority to make sure adequate resources are


put into this investigation. It is already a far bigger investigation


than the first, failed investigation. They are welcome the


Prime Minister's decision to widen the terms of reference for the


inquiry to include not just the press and broadcasters and social


media as well. Can I be reassured that it will also include other


illegal and unethical activities such as blagging, hacking into e-


mail accounts, and it will extend to all parts of the United Kingdom,


and that in interest -- in the interest of the victims of crime


and terrorism, that both of the main parties will be open about the


extent of their relationship with the Murdoch empire? On the last


point, I have been totally transparent and will go on being


transparent. On the issue awful the terms of reference mention, of


course this inquiry can look at blagging and all of the crimes that


have been documented. One of the issues were -- was that if you


mention some forms but not others, you give additional priority. Lord


Justice Levison can go wherever the evidence leads. Does my right


honourable friend agree that after the extraordinary events of the


last few days, last thing the general public wants to see is


cheap partisanship. We want to hear the honourable lady and a focus on


Andy Coulson comes ill from the party of Tom Baldwin and Damian


McBride. The honourable lady makes an -- a good point. Can I commend


her for her questioning and what she did yesterday on the Select


Committee were a thing she showed commendable plot, if I can put it


that way, as well as asking some extremely pertinent questions?


the course of the past few minutes, the Prime Minister has been asked a


simple question twice and refused to answer it. As Prime Minister,


did he ever discuss the question of the BSkyB bid with News


International at the meetings they attended? I never had one in


appropriate conversation. And let me be clear, I completely took


myself out of any decision-making about this bid. I had no role


limits, in when the results were going to be made, in when the


announcements were going to be made and that is the point. When the


honourable gentleman makes signals like that. Order. The House, again,


needs to come down. The question was probably heard, the Prime


Minister's answer must be properly heard. I have answered the question.


The pointer would make his, unlike the party he has been supporting


for the last god knows how many years, this party set out all its


meetings, everything it did, in stark contrast to the party


opposite. Judging the mood of the chamber, this might be unpopular


thing to say but outside the Westminster bobble, I get the


impression that the nation has had its fill on the subject. It is


actually getting fed up. It wants answers about the police corruption


and about the hacking and the relationship between the press and


the media. But there is an inquiry underway and that is where the


answers will come. I think it is time that the Westminster frenzy is


placed on hold. There are other pressing matters, Mr Speaker, that


the nation expects us to deal with. My honourable friend makes a good


point. We have set up the fullest possible inquiry, an inquiry never


held under the 13 years of a last government. We have to let that


inquiry find the answers to all of these questions. It looks at the


police, media, BSkyB, the conduct of politicians, and it is able to


ask all of those questions and we should be able to allow it to get


on with the job. Yesterday, News International's defence seems to


have shifted from one role reporter to one possibly more role lawyer.


They still have not fully revealed to Newport and when and to


participate at that the cover-up. Rupert Murdoch said to be Select


Committee that that was unsatisfactory. What would you urge


News International to do now to resolve the situation? Simple, tell


the truth to the police and to the inquiry. Does the Prime Minister


agree with me that having failed the victims in 2006, when the


Government ignored the ICO's warnings, and having failed victims


in 2009 when the Met dismissed evidence in their own position, we


should not fail them now by simply apportioning blame? -- in their own


possession. We need reform of our police, our media and our politics.


The honourable lady is right. We will go back over these reports and


over the missed warnings. The inquiry will be able to do that,


too, and we should use that information to use this once in a


generation chance to get media regulation right. This is about


public confidence. Can I ask the Prime Minister this question? Does


he really feel that his conduct as Leader of the Opposition and then


as Prime Minister should inspire confidence, bearing in mind the


phone hacking allegations and the way in which he employed the former


editor of the News of the World? Does he not realise that too many


people, how he has acted in the last few years has been pretty


sordid? My reply is yes, because which government has set up a


judicial inquiry? This one. Which government has made sure there is a


fully resourced and staffed police investigation? This one. Which


government it is being totally transparent about its conduct and


contact with the media and asking others to do the same? That is what


this Government has done. His government for 13 years had these


opportunities and failed to take them. Would the Prime Minister


agree that in the past, when the House of Commons has been faced


with big issues, it has had a tendency for knee-jerk over-


reaction? Would he agree that actually newspapers are a force for


good in this country and that actually what we want at the end of


this process is criminality weeded out of the media, but nothing that


impinges on a free press, free speech, and holding people in


authority to a counter? -- holding people in authority to account.


have to make sure that in the debate we have about this, we show


an element of restraint in the regulation of the media because the


result was a danger that the pendulum swings too far the other


way and we start and -- we start to threaten independent journalism, a


strong and independent media. When we consider the scandals uncovered


in recent years, it has often been the press that have done it, and


not the regulators. I'm sure we will come on to this in the debate


we have later but it is vital to Rebecca Brooks yesterday described


the Prime Minister as a friend and a neighbour. We heard from Jeremy


Clarkson about Christmas walks and conversations over sausages. Order!


This is the mother of Parliament where we have free speech. This


question will be heard, that is the end of it. Given the Butler review


in the last Parliament, does the Prime Minister believe that such


informality on his behalf was consistent with what is expected?


What I would say to the honourable gentleman is that one of the things


that came out of the evidence yesterday is that, whereas Rebekah


Brooks was invited six times in year to Number Ten Downing Street


under both the former prime ministers, she has not been invited


to Number Ten Downing Street by me. Of course, I have set out... The


great contrast is I have set out all of the contacts and meetings


that I have had in complete contrast to the party opposite, and


I can say this to the Honourable Gentleman, I have never held a


slumber party or seen her in her pyjamas! Thank you, Mr Speaker. The


confidence of my constituents in Northamptonshire... Order, order! I


want to hear and the House wants to hear. I will start again. The


confidence of my constituents in Northampton in the political


process has been progressively undermined and can be traced to the


dismal example of politicians in the mid- 1990s laying all before


the older of media barons. How can we change that culture, address the


miserable failure of political oversight and leadership, and


ensure that never again will we allow the propriety to be


sacrificed whilst those responsible are asleep on what? Are I think the


short answer to the honourable gentleman is that transparency is


the correct answer. I will -- I touched on this one I opened the


debate in my speech, but I think that everyone should see how often


that we need. The Prime Minister has repeatedly emphasised that he


has no evidence of any complaint or questions about the conduct of Andy


Coulson while he was heading a government media service. Will the


Prime Minister confirm that a year ago, during the period when Mr


Coulson was director of communications, the Cabinet


Secretary was alerted to evidence of illegal phone hacking, covert


surveillance, and hostile media briefing directed against a senior


official in the government said this? What action, if any, was


taken to investigate what appears to have been disgraceful and


illegal conduct close to the heart of government? I have to look


closely at what the honourable gentleman says, but the point I


have made, and I have never seen evidence to go against it, is in


the period Andy Coulson worked at Number Ten Downing Street as head


of communications, there was no complaint about the way he did his


job. I take responsibility for employing him, I take


responsibility for that decision and I have laid out today what I


think of that now and all that has been learned, and you have to learn


these lessons if you are going to get things right in the future.


What I would say in my defence is in the time he was at Downing


Street, he did not behave in a way that anyone that was inappropriate,


and that was important because the decision was to employ him, the


decision was his to leave, and during that period people cannot


point to his conduct and say that was a misjudgment. Many


constituents have contacted me regarding this issue and they will


join me in Markham in a statement today, but many others have been in


touch concerning other important issues such as the crisis in the


eurozone and the situation in Africa. Can the Prime Minister


reassure my constituents that this government is dealing with all


issues and not focusing on phone hacking? The honourable lady is


right, people wanted to get on with the other issues at a time when we


need the economy to grow, need to provide more jobs, have to get to


grips with problems of the cost of living, they want reforms and


welfare and immigration. Yes, they want us to deal with it issue but


they want us to get on with the other issues this country needs to


deal with. A flavour of the Commons debate


with MPs questioning David Cameron. It continues all afternoon in the


Commons and you can much coverage on BBC Parliament. But let's


discuss that debate and where this episode leaves British politics


with Kevin Maguire from the Mirror and Tim Montgomery from


Conservative time. What about David Cameron's


performance? It was a big day today, cutting short his trip to Africa.


How did he do? I think he did very well, and I say that as someone who


thinks he has been behind the curve for the last few weeks. He was very


authoritative today and was where the British people want that Prime


Minister to be. He has taken tough action to deal with the problems


that occurred during the Labour years, and getting the British


people now have seen the Prime Minister take action and what their


government to get focused on the issues they are concerned about,


like the euro, immigration, crime, and I think enough has been done


now for him to have earned the right to move on. Has he done


enough to persuade his own backbenchers? They probably will


have sat there and C Ed Miliband having had a pretty good time of it


through the phone hacking scandal, and perhaps think the Prime


Minister has been behind the curve. They were warring their support


today, they were very enthusiastic, and they think we are beginning to


see the signs of a overreach from Ed Miliband. He has had a good


couple of weeks, but there was an element today where he could see


conspiracy theories behind every corner. He needs to address his


fundamental weakness as Labour leader, that people do not trust


him on the economy, and as we are going into a summer when the


economy will be dominant, he needs to change focus. Do you think,


Kevin, that Ed Miliband hit the wrong note today? That having had a


few weeks of putting pressure on David Cameron, today was a day to


say, we all have to look at relationships with the press, with


the police, rather than a continuing on the, why did you hire


Andy Coulson? Today was party political on both sides. David


Cameron did do well, it was very feisty, although I am sure some of


his answers on what he did or didn't know on Andy Coulson


probably would not stand up to sustained questioning if he came


and sat here. Let's take the BSkyB question. He was asked several


times, in all of the meetings of News International, has he ever


raised the issue of BSkyB? His first answer to that was, as


Rebecca Brooks said yesterday, the second was, I have never had an


inappropriate discussion. I am afraid most people would think that


he did, then, not inappropriate but he did discuss BSkyB. Yes, that he


did discuss it. The meetings, he has been transparent about


discussing the meetings between News International and the


government, but not about those informal social interactions.


has always been a case in Downing Street, you go downstairs it is


recorded, you go upstairs for a private meeting that never was. He


has had so much social contact, as did Gordon Brown and Tony Blair...


Much has been made of Gordon Brown even by a Rupert Murdoch himself


yesterday, how cosy they were with the Murdochs. A very good line with


David Cameron, I have never seen Rebekah Brooks in her pyjamas!


haven't, have you? I am glad to year that! No one would admit it


now anyway! I have never seen her dressed in appropriately! In terms


of inappropriate relationships, where it comes to Labour's


relationships with the Murdochs, not just Tony Blair and Gordon


Brown, are they putting themselves in the firing line if they continue


in that vein? Yes, you cannot ignore the past and Labour was too


close. Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell ran their media operations


through News International. Gordon Brown tried to cosy up,


unsuccessfully. Successful for a while. True, but in the end he got


his fingers burned. Ed Miliband has got quite clean hands on this.


people would dispute that. Andy Coulson obviously was there at the


Prime Minister's side but has been done for a few months. Still at Ed


Miliband's side is Tom Baldwin who used to work at the Times and News


International. But there is no indication of wrong doing. That was


the position of Andy Coulson for a while. Very specific allegations


have been made about him black ink into bank accounts. The killer


facts have yet to come out -- about him blagging. When will we get


them? He has not spoken to me since the five o'clock interview on


election night! I am not surprised! For someone trying to ride his high


horse, as Ed Miliband is doing, saying he is whiter than white, and


have a guy with significant question marks hanging over him, is


dangerous, as well as Rupert Murdoch agreeing to was yesterday


the scale of the meetings that have taken place between past Labour


leaders and the Murdoch empire. What about the political benefits


for Ed Miliband and the Labour Party? There were polls that said,


how are engaged is the public generally in this when you have the


other issues? But also the Labour Party has not improved that much.


Ed Miliband's standard has improved, he will be pleased about that?


should be, because it was very low! He has made himself safe within the


Labour Purdie. Murdoch is a bogeyman for many in the Labour


Party. But he has not yet broken through with the country as a whole,


but it is a slow burner. It may never explode fully, it may not be


the dynamite fact to nail David Cameron to Andy Coulson knowing


things he should not have known, because that may not exist, but if


it does then I think Ed Miliband will look very different. In terms


of David Cameron, over the last few days we had a bitter debate earlier


about whether senior Tories have been -- we had a bit of a debate


about where the senior Tories have been batting for David Cameron. We


were told they did not know what the line was. What do you say to


that? I think David Cameron will be OK after this. Overall approval


ratings have not changed but I think there are lessons to be


learned. Traditionally, you have a Tory party chairman in the media


every day batting for the Prime Minister. I rang Central Office


about this the other day, I wondered whether she was unwell or


abroad, and apparently she is preparing for the party conference


which is three months of. She has not spoken to me since the Tory


party conference either! Or a car crash into the! Cameron desperately


needs that kind of figure out there doing this stuff he needs to be


above -- a car crash into view. He needs to go puzzle of the


hypocrisies and contradictions in Labour's positioned.


That is it for today, we thank all of our guests. That really is it


for the summer after two false start! We will not be back tomorrow,


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