The Daily Politics Special Daily Politics


The Daily Politics Special

David Cameron flies home early from a trade mission to Africa to respond to revelations of the past few days. With Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn.


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

:00:30.:00:34.

Commons has postponed its summer recess so that the Prime Minister

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can address MPs on the phone hacking scandal. David Cameron

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returned to Westminster last night after cutting short his trade

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

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

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

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

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

:01:01.:01:08.

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

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examining where this extraordinary state of affairs leaves of British

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politics. And with us to watch the Prime

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

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

:01:27.:01:31.

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

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

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

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Bomb Affairs Select Committee have this morning released the report

:01:48.:01:52.

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

:01:52.:01:55.

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

:01:55.:02:00.

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

:02:00.:02:06.

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

:02:06.:02:11.

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

:02:11.:02:15.

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

:02:16.:02:22.

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

:02:22.:02:27.

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

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

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

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

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members of parliament employ friends and family. That was John

:02:46.:02:51.

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

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

:02:54.:03:00.

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

:03:00.:03:03.

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

:03:03.:03:09.

minutes ago. This business of the police not

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

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

:03:20.:03:25.

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

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

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

:03:34.:03:40.

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

:03:40.:03:43.

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

:03:43.:03:50.

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

:03:50.:03:54.

which is basically saying that News International strutted the inquiry,

:03:54.:03:58.

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

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and now we know of this interlocking set of relationships

:04:03.:04:06.

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

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

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

:04:14.:04:18.

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

:04:18.:04:25.

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

:04:25.:04:29.

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

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

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

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evidence for News International obstruction and for the

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indifference of the police was gathering throughout the years

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

:04:51.:04:57.

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

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

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

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

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

:05:17.:05:20.

between the police and News International. Nobody did.

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

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

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

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We knew that News International had basically signed a hush money

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agreement with Mr Taylor and Mr Clifford. Obviously, those

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

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

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can all see that something was wrong and the relationships are

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

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something was a mess, that the original role reporter defence

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collapsed with the Taylor incident and the Clifford incident. The

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royal reporter was not investigating their head of the FA.

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

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

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

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

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

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assume that the police are also investigating the issues put before

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

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

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

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

:07:09.:07:14.

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

:07:14.:07:20.

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

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the House of Commons that News International had paid police in

:07:25.:07:35.
:07:35.:07:35.

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

:07:35.:07:39.

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

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

:07:42.:07:47.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:08:25.:08:31.

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

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

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produces a devastating report showing that the illegal gathering

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

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

:08:52.:08:56.

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

:08:56.:09:06.
:09:06.:09:06.

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

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

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information commissioner's report which showed these practices were

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Guardian published a report which showed that the police

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investigation which had only touched on one reporter and one

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private detective had clearly been inadequate, otherwise News

:10:00.:10:04.

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

:10:04.:10:14.
:10:14.:10:14.

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

:10:15.:10:19.

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

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

:10:26.:10:29.

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

:10:29.:10:38.

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

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

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

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

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newspaper group seems to be interlocked with the police from

:10:57.:11:01.

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

:11:01.:11:06.

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

:11:06.:11:10.

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

:11:10.:11:16.

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

:11:16.:11:22.

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

:11:22.:11:29.

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

:11:29.:11:35.

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

:11:35.:11:40.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:12:05.:12:10.

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

:12:10.:12:13.

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

:12:13.:12:19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:12:39.:12:43.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:13:05.:13:15.

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

:13:15.:13:18.

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

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for their links with News International and what they did or

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

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debate in the chamber. We do the parties stand?

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

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

:13:39.:13:45.

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

:13:45.:13:48.

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

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

:13:52.:13:54.

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

:13:54.:13:57.

phone hacking inquiry. And we learnt that the former deputy

:13:57.:14:01.

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

:14:01.:14:04.

connection with hacking allegations but not charged, had offered

:14:04.:14:07.

but not charged, had offered informal advice to Andy Coulson

:14:07.:14:10.

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

:14:10.:14:14.

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

:14:14.:14:21.

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

:14:21.:14:26.

questions after he hired Tom Baldwin as his director of

:14:26.:14:29.

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

:14:29.:14:33.

showed he had discouraged MPs from linking their opposition to News

:14:33.:14:40.

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

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

:14:44.:14:47.

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

:14:47.:14:52.

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

:14:52.:14:56.

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

:14:56.:15:00.

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

:15:00.:15:04.

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

:15:04.:15:14.
:15:14.:15:16.

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

:15:16.:15:22.

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

:15:22.:15:25.

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

:15:25.:15:31.

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

:15:31.:15:35.

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

:15:35.:15:39.

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

:15:39.:15:45.

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

:15:45.:15:51.

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

:15:51.:15:56.

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

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advising your election campaign have now been arrested. Anybody

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

:16:07.:16:11.

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

:16:11.:16:15.

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

:16:15.:16:20.

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

:16:20.:16:25.

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

:16:25.:16:30.

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

:16:30.:16:34.

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

:16:34.:16:38.

phone hacking story and the circumstances. Did you have

:16:38.:16:44.

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

:16:44.:16:48.

dealt with those reservations by seeking an assurance from Andy

:16:48.:16:54.

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

:16:54.:17:00.

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

:17:00.:17:05.

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

:17:05.:17:09.

have sought the same reassurances that the Prime Minister sought and

:17:09.:17:13.

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

:17:13.:17:19.

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

:17:19.:17:24.

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

:17:24.:17:29.

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

:17:29.:17:35.

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

:17:35.:17:41.

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

:17:41.:17:51.

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

:17:51.:17:56.

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

:17:56.:18:01.

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

:18:01.:18:05.

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

:18:05.:18:10.

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

:18:10.:18:15.

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

:18:15.:18:19.

maintained his innocence throughout. He is entitled to be presumed

:18:19.:18:24.

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

:18:24.:18:27.

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

:18:27.:18:31.

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

:18:32.:18:35.

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

:18:35.:18:40.

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

:18:40.:18:47.

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

:18:47.:18:52.

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

:18:52.:18:56.

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

:18:57.:19:00.

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

:19:00.:19:08.

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

:19:08.:19:12.

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

:19:13.:19:19.

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

:19:19.:19:23.

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

:19:23.:19:29.

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

:19:30.:19:38.

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

:19:38.:19:41.

defending your beleaguered Prime Minister? Who goes on to which

:19:42.:19:45.

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

:19:45.:19:49.

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

:19:49.:19:53.

depends partly on who the broadcasters asked to have and

:19:53.:19:58.

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

:19:58.:20:03.

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

:20:03.:20:10.

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

:20:10.:20:16.

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

:20:16.:20:22.

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

:20:22.:20:26.

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

:20:26.:20:31.

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

:20:31.:20:36.

that something was rotten about my macrosystem and the Murdochs were

:20:36.:20:46.
:20:46.:20:53.

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

:20:53.:20:58.

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

:20:58.:21:02.

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

:21:02.:21:07.

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

:21:07.:21:17.
:21:17.:21:17.

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

:21:17.:21:21.

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

:21:21.:21:25.

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

:21:25.:21:32.

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

:21:32.:21:38.

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

:21:38.:21:43.

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

:21:43.:21:46.

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

:21:46.:21:52.

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

:21:52.:21:58.

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

:21:58.:22:03.

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

:22:03.:22:10.

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

:22:10.:22:14.

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

:22:14.:22:20.

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

:22:20.:22:26.

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

:22:26.:22:32.

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

:22:32.:22:38.

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

:22:38.:22:43.

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

:22:43.:22:49.

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

:22:49.:22:52.

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

:22:52.:22:58.

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

:22:58.:23:01.

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

:23:01.:23:08.

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

:23:08.:23:14.

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

:23:14.:23:18.

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

:23:18.:23:23.

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

:23:23.:23:26.

invited through the back door of Number Ten to avoid the

:23:26.:23:31.

photographers yesterday but it was obviously to try to keep the

:23:31.:23:40.

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

:23:40.:23:44.

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

:23:44.:23:50.

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

:23:50.:23:54.

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

:23:54.:24:00.

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

:24:00.:24:07.

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

:24:07.:24:15.

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

:24:15.:24:21.

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

:24:21.:24:27.

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

:24:27.:24:33.

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

:24:33.:24:41.

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

:24:41.:24:51.
:24:51.:24:56.

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

:24:57.:25:06.
:25:07.:25:14.

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

:25:14.:25:20.

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

:25:20.:25:26.

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

:25:26.:25:32.

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

:25:32.:25:38.

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

:25:38.:25:44.

extremely clever, and extremely protective, it seems, after

:25:44.:25:50.

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

:25:50.:25:54.

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

:25:54.:26:04.
:26:04.:26:05.

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

:26:05.:26:12.

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

:26:12.:26:18.

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

:26:18.:26:21.

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

:26:21.:26:26.

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

:26:27.:26:33.

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

:26:33.:26:39.

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

:26:40.:26:47.

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

:26:47.:26:56.

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

:26:56.:26:59.

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

:26:59.:27:07.

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

:27:07.:27:10.

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

:27:10.:27:18.

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

:27:18.:27:23.

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

:27:23.:27:29.

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

:27:29.:27:34.

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

:27:34.:27:38.

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

:27:38.:27:43.

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

:27:43.:27:46.

the police, the picture of the policemen trotting afterwards was

:27:46.:27:52.

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

:27:52.:27:56.

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

:27:56.:27:59.

police officer had to saunter across the room was not terribly

:27:59.:28:04.

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

:28:04.:28:08.

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

:28:08.:28:12.

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

:28:12.:28:17.

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

:28:17.:28:23.

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

:28:23.:28:32.

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

:28:32.:28:35.

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

:28:36.:28:41.

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

:28:41.:28:44.

protesters before the session even started so there had been some

:28:44.:28:51.

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

:28:51.:28:57.

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

:28:57.:29:03.

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

:29:03.:29:11.

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

:29:11.:29:16.

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

:29:16.:29:19.

organisation and cannot be responsible for everything. Let's

:29:19.:29:23.

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

:29:23.:29:28.

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

:29:28.:29:33.

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

:29:33.:29:37.

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

:29:37.:29:40.

They are frustrated that the headlines have been dominated by it

:29:40.:29:47.

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

:29:47.:29:52.

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

:29:52.:29:57.

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

:29:57.:30:01.

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

:30:01.:30:05.

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

:30:05.:30:08.

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

:30:08.:30:13.

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

:30:13.:30:18.

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

:30:18.:30:23.

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

:30:23.:30:28.

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

:30:28.:30:32.

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

:30:32.:30:40.

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

:30:41.:30:44.

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

:30:44.:30:48.

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

:30:48.:30:56.

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

:30:56.:30:59.

This degree of criminality, the Prime Minister has been compromised

:30:59.:31:04.

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

:31:05.:31:10.

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

:31:10.:31:14.

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

:31:14.:31:23.

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

:31:23.:31:30.

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

:31:30.:31:37.

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

:31:37.:31:42.

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

:31:42.:31:46.

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

:31:46.:31:50.

International have hijacked our politics? I think politicians have

:31:50.:31:54.

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

:31:54.:31:57.

police and the problem with journalists and it is not all

:31:57.:32:01.

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

:32:01.:32:06.

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

:32:06.:32:10.

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

:32:10.:32:14.

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

:32:14.:32:17.

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

:32:17.:32:20.

address the level of fines and punishments for people obtaining

:32:20.:32:25.

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

:32:25.:32:30.

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

:32:30.:32:34.

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

:32:34.:32:38.

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

:32:38.:32:47.

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

:32:47.:32:53.

within that, another inquiry, ongoing major police investigations

:32:53.:32:56.

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

:32:56.:33:01.

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

:33:02.:33:06.

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

:33:06.:33:10.

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

:33:10.:33:14.

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

:33:14.:33:20.

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

:33:20.:33:26.

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

:33:26.:33:31.

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

:33:31.:33:35.

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

:33:35.:33:38.

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

:33:38.:33:45.

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

:33:45.:33:49.

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

:33:49.:33:55.

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

:33:55.:33:59.

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

:33:59.:34:03.

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

:34:03.:34:09.

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

:34:09.:34:16.

these questions. Remember cash for honours? The difficulty for

:34:16.:34:19.

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

:34:19.:34:25.

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

:34:25.:34:29.

of information. Information is coming sometimes from the police,

:34:29.:34:32.

sometimes from News International, sometimes from the lawyers. Just

:34:32.:34:37.

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

:34:37.:34:39.

ordered the Mets to release information about the alleged

:34:39.:34:44.

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

:34:44.:34:50.

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

:34:50.:34:57.

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

:34:57.:35:04.

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

:35:04.:35:07.

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

:35:07.:35:12.

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

:35:12.:35:20.

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

:35:20.:35:23.

News Pollitt -- news organisations respond to the public like

:35:23.:35:32.

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

:35:32.:35:40.

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

:35:40.:35:50.
:35:50.:35:50.

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

:35:50.:35:57.

entirely independent of the House authorities. Statement, the Prime

:35:57.:36:03.

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

:36:03.:36:07.

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

:36:07.:36:12.

allegations has engulfed some of this country's most important

:36:12.:36:16.

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

:36:16.:36:19.

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

:36:19.:36:24.

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

:36:24.:36:29.

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

:36:29.:36:33.

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

:36:33.:36:36.

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

:36:37.:36:40.

healthy relationship between politicians and media owners. Above

:36:40.:36:45.

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

:36:45.:36:49.

suffered dreadfully, including through murder and terrorism, and

:36:49.:36:55.

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

:36:55.:36:58.

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

:36:58.:37:03.

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

:37:03.:37:06.

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

:37:06.:37:12.

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

:37:12.:37:16.

terrorism and restoring fairness to our welfare and immigration systems.

:37:16.:37:21.

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

:37:21.:37:24.

police investigation which will examine criminal behaviour by the

:37:24.:37:28.

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

:37:28.:37:32.

independent judicial inquiry under Lord Justice Levison to establish

:37:32.:37:37.

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

:37:37.:37:43.

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

:37:43.:37:48.

with media editors, proprietors, senior executives, to bring

:37:48.:37:50.

complete transparency to the relationship between government

:37:51.:37:55.

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

:37:55.:38:00.

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

:38:00.:38:03.

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

:38:03.:38:09.

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

:38:09.:38:13.

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

:38:13.:38:18.

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

:38:18.:38:23.

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

:38:23.:38:27.

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

:38:27.:38:34.

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

:38:34.:38:40.

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

:38:40.:38:43.

campaigner and director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti, the former Chief

:38:43.:38:48.

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

:38:48.:38:54.

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

:38:54.:38:56.

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

:38:56.:38:59.

Daily Telegraph and former Special Correspondent of the Press

:38:59.:39:03.

Association George Jones and the former chairman of the Financial

:39:03.:39:10.

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

:39:10.:39:13.

expertise in the media, broadcasting, regulation and

:39:13.:39:16.

policing, but for their complete independence from the interested

:39:16.:39:23.

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

:39:23.:39:30.

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

:39:30.:39:33.

consulted with justice Levison, with the opposition and chairs of

:39:34.:39:37.

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

:39:37.:39:45.

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

:39:45.:39:48.

campaign. The problem with the relationship between the press and

:39:48.:39:58.

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

:39:58.:40:01.

inquiry should consider not just a relationship between press, police

:40:01.:40:06.

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

:40:06.:40:10.

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

:40:10.:40:14.

media organisations including broadcasters and social media, if

:40:14.:40:17.

there is any evidence that they have been involved in criminal

:40:17.:40:20.

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

:40:20.:40:24.

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

:40:24.:40:28.

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

:40:28.:40:32.

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

:40:32.:40:37.

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

:40:37.:40:43.

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

:40:43.:40:46.

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

:40:47.:40:51.

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

:40:51.:40:54.

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

:40:54.:41:00.

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

:41:00.:41:04.

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

:41:04.:41:09.

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

:41:09.:41:12.

in improving a response to terrorism. Given the departure of

:41:12.:41:16.

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

:41:16.:41:19.

effective policing of our capital and confidence in that policing is

:41:20.:41:24.

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

:41:24.:41:29.

responsibilities of the matter will continue seamlessly. The current

:41:29.:41:33.

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

:41:33.:41:36.

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

:41:36.:41:40.

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

:41:40.:41:45.

the highly experienced Cressida Dick. The responsibility of the

:41:45.:41:49.

Deputy Commissioner, of which the House will remember includes the

:41:49.:41:52.

oversight of the investigations into hacking and into the police,

:41:52.:41:59.

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

:41:59.:42:03.

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

:42:03.:42:06.

temporarily from her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. We

:42:06.:42:10.

are also looking to speed up the process for selecting and

:42:10.:42:13.

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

:42:13.:42:18.

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

:42:18.:42:23.

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

:42:23.:42:27.

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

:42:27.:42:31.

and serve the public with distinction. But police corruption

:42:31.:42:36.

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

:42:36.:42:42.

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

:42:42.:42:45.

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

:42:45.:42:50.

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

:42:50.:42:54.

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

:42:54.:42:57.

match point that on secretary dressed in her statement to this

:42:57.:43:03.

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

:43:03.:43:06.

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

:43:07.:43:10.

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

:43:10.:43:17.

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

:43:17.:43:21.

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

:43:21.:43:25.

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

:43:25.:43:30.

The Government is bringing in elected police and crime

:43:30.:43:36.

institutions, assuring that there is an elected official holding the

:43:36.:43:40.

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

:43:40.:43:44.

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

:43:44.:43:47.

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

:43:47.:43:52.

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

:43:52.:43:57.

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

:43:57.:44:01.

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

:44:01.:44:07.

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

:44:07.:44:11.

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

:44:11.:44:15.

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

:44:15.:44:20.

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

:44:20.:44:26.

investigations around phone hacking. I have said repeatedly about the

:44:26.:44:30.

police investigation that they should pursue the evidence was ever

:44:30.:44:33.

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

:44:33.:44:38.

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

:44:38.:44:41.

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

:44:41.:44:50.

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

:44:50.:44:53.

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

:44:54.:45:03.
:45:04.:45:03.

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

:45:04.:45:09.

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

:45:09.:45:15.

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

:45:15.:45:19.

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

:45:19.:45:29.
:45:29.:45:33.

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

:45:33.:45:36.

sensitive police investigation in any way would have been completely

:45:36.:45:43.

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

:45:43.:45:48.

yesterday. John Yates said, the offer was properly and

:45:48.:45:52.

understandably rejected. The Cabinet Secretary and the chair of

:45:52.:45:55.

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

:45:55.:46:00.

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

:46:00.:46:05.

broken in relation to the BSkyB merger and meetings with News

:46:05.:46:08.

International executives. The Cabinet Secretary has ruled very

:46:08.:46:12.

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

:46:12.:46:17.

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

:46:17.:46:21.

set the record straight on another question that arose yesterday,

:46:21.:46:25.

whether the Conservative Party had also employed Neil Wallis. The

:46:26.:46:28.

Conservative Party chairman has assured that all accounts have been

:46:28.:46:32.

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

:46:32.:46:36.

his company has ever been employed by or contracted by the

:46:36.:46:39.

Conservative Party, nor has the Conservative Party made payments to

:46:39.:46:47.

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

:46:47.:46:51.

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

:46:51.:46:55.

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

:46:55.:46:58.

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

:46:58.:47:03.

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

:47:03.:47:09.

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

:47:09.:47:15.

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

:47:15.:47:19.

police, media, politicians, is taking responsibility in an

:47:19.:47:23.

appropriate manner. I want to redress my own responsibilities

:47:23.:47:28.

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

:47:28.:47:32.

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

:47:32.:47:36.

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

:47:36.:47:40.

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

:47:40.:47:43.

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

:47:43.:47:48.

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

:47:48.:47:53.

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

:47:54.:48:00.

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

:48:00.:48:04.

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

:48:04.:48:09.

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

:48:09.:48:13.

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

:48:14.:48:18.

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

:48:18.:48:21.

Downing Street has not been the subject of any serious complaint

:48:21.:48:26.

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

:48:27.:48:33.

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

:48:33.:48:38.

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

:48:38.:48:43.

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

:48:43.:48:48.

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

:48:48.:48:52.

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

:48:52.:48:58.

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

:48:58.:49:01.

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

:49:01.:49:05.

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

:49:05.:49:11.

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

:49:11.:49:18.

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

:49:18.:49:22.

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

:49:22.:49:26.

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

:49:26.:49:31.

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

:49:31.:49:34.

of criminal behaviour by parts of the press and potentially the

:49:34.:49:38.

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

:49:38.:49:44.

required. There are issues with media groups and owners where

:49:44.:49:48.

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

:49:48.:49:52.

history of missed warnings, select committee report, Information

:49:52.:49:56.

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

:49:56.:50:01.

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

:50:01.:50:09.

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

:50:09.:50:12.

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

:50:12.:50:17.

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

:50:17.:50:21.

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

:50:21.:50:31.
:50:31.:50:31.

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

:50:31.:50:36.

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

:50:36.:50:40.

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

:50:40.:50:45.

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

:50:45.:50:50.

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

:50:50.:50:53.

country wants answers from those involved in the crisis so that

:50:53.:50:57.

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

:50:57.:51:02.

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

:51:02.:51:06.

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

:51:06.:51:10.

the announcement of the terms of reference and indeed the panel

:51:10.:51:13.

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

:51:13.:51:20.

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

:51:20.:51:24.

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

:51:24.:51:29.

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

:51:29.:51:32.

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

:51:32.:51:35.

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

:51:35.:51:40.

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

:51:40.:51:44.

see answers given and responsibility taken, and that is

:51:44.:51:49.

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

:51:49.:51:59.

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

:51:59.:52:02.

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

:52:02.:52:07.

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

:52:07.:52:12.

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

:52:12.:52:18.

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

:52:18.:52:25.

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

:52:25.:52:31.

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

:52:31.:52:34.

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

:52:34.:52:37.

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

:52:37.:52:41.

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

:52:41.:52:47.

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

:52:47.:52:50.

representatives of News International or News Corp,

:52:50.:52:54.

including Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch, on the 26 separate

:52:54.:52:59.

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

:52:59.:53:03.

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

:53:03.:53:08.

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

:53:08.:53:15.

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

:53:15.:53:20.

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

:53:20.:53:24.

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

:53:24.:53:28.

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

:53:28.:53:31.

was not given any specific information that would lead me to

:53:31.:53:36.

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

:53:36.:53:41.

the Prime Minister would have made every effort to uncover the

:53:41.:53:46.

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

:53:46.:53:50.

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

:53:50.:53:57.

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

:53:57.:54:02.

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

:54:02.:54:05.

opportunities for the Prime Minister or his staff to have acted

:54:06.:54:09.

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

:54:09.:54:15.

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

:54:15.:54:20.

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

:54:20.:54:24.

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

:54:24.:54:28.

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

:54:28.:54:32.

Rebekah Brooks said yesterday that this decision was extraordinary,

:54:32.:54:36.

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

:54:36.:54:41.

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

:54:41.:54:45.

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

:54:45.:54:52.

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

:54:52.:54:55.

investigation quoting multiple sources saying Mr Coulson knew

:54:55.:55:01.

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

:55:01.:55:05.

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

:55:06.:55:11.

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

:55:11.:55:14.

triggered the termination of the Metropolitan Police's contract with

:55:14.:55:19.

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

:55:19.:55:23.

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

:55:23.:55:26.

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

:55:26.:55:31.

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

:55:31.:55:39.

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

:55:39.:55:44.

relationship with Mr Coulson, and therefore could not be told

:55:44.:55:48.

anything at all about an investigation concerning a member

:55:48.:55:54.

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

:55:54.:55:59.

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

:55:59.:56:04.

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

:56:04.:56:09.

leading global newspaper about the Prime Minister's director of

:56:09.:56:14.

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

:56:14.:56:18.

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

:56:18.:56:23.

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

:56:23.:56:28.

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

:56:29.:56:33.

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

:56:33.:56:37.

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

:56:37.:56:42.

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

:56:42.:56:45.

of staff was approached again by the Guardian about the serious

:56:45.:56:50.

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

:56:50.:56:56.

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

:56:56.:57:00.

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

:57:00.:57:10.
:57:10.:57:14.

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

:57:14.:57:18.

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

:57:18.:57:23.

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

:57:23.:57:28.

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

:57:28.:57:32.

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

:57:32.:57:38.

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

:57:38.:57:44.

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

:57:44.:57:49.

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

:57:49.:57:54.

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

:57:54.:57:59.

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

:57:59.:58:02.

had a real effect. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner resigned on

:58:02.:58:07.

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

:58:07.:58:12.

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

:58:12.:58:16.

Sir Paul Stephenson was trapped between a Home Secretary angry at

:58:16.:58:21.

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

:58:21.:58:26.

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

:58:26.:58:30.

compromised the Prime Minister, compromised him because of Mr

:58:30.:58:35.

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

:58:35.:58:40.

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

:58:40.:58:44.

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

:58:44.:58:49.

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

:58:49.:58:53.

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

:58:53.:58:58.

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

:58:58.:59:02.

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

:59:02.:59:07.

interest for the Metropolitan -- put the Metropolitan Police

:59:07.:59:10.

Commissioner in an impossible position? Three questions are about

:59:11.:59:16.

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

:59:16.:59:18.

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

:59:18.:59:22.

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

:59:22.:59:29.

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

:59:29.:59:34.

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

:59:34.:59:39.

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

:59:40.:59:49.
:59:50.:59:52.

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

:59:52.:59:55.

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

:59:55.:00:00.

information and warnings that the Prime Minister ignored. He was

:00:00.:00:06.

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

:00:06.:00:13.

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

:00:13.:00:18.

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

:00:19.:00:27.

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

:00:27.:00:31.

gentleman is, stop hunting conspiracy theories and start

:00:31.:00:36.

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

:00:36.:00:41.

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

:00:41.:00:45.

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

:00:45.:00:51.

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

:00:51.:00:54.

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

:00:54.:01:04.

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

:01:04.:01:10.

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

:01:11.:01:14.

evidence of Rebekah Brooks yesterday saying there was not one

:01:15.:01:19.

single and appropriate conversation. Where comes to setting up meetings

:01:19.:01:25.

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

:01:25.:01:28.

session. The honourable gentleman published a list this morning but

:01:28.:01:34.

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

:01:34.:01:43.

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

:01:43.:01:53.
:01:53.:01:55.

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

:01:55.:02:05.
:02:05.:02:06.

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

:02:06.:02:10.

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

:02:10.:02:15.

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

:02:15.:02:24.

leader with a News International executive sitting in his office.

:02:24.:02:29.

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

:02:29.:02:34.

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

:02:34.:02:37.

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

:02:37.:02:40.

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

:02:40.:02:44.

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

:02:44.:02:47.

Paul Stephenson and all these people, including Jeremy Heywood,

:02:47.:02:52.

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

:02:52.:02:56.

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

:02:56.:03:03.

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

:03:03.:03:08.

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

:03:08.:03:11.

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

:03:11.:03:14.

his resignation yesterday in detailed evidence and explained how

:03:14.:03:18.

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

:03:18.:03:22.

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

:03:22.:03:26.

chief of staff, answered, the parallels with the Metropolitan

:03:26.:03:30.

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

:03:30.:03:34.

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

:03:34.:03:42.

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

:03:42.:03:49.

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

:03:49.:03:55.

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

:03:55.:04:01.

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

:04:01.:04:04.

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

:04:04.:04:08.

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

:04:08.:04:13.

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

:04:13.:04:20.

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

:04:20.:04:26.

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

:04:26.:04:31.

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

:04:31.:04:36.

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

:04:36.:04:42.

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

:04:42.:04:45.

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

:04:45.:04:49.

relationship between police, press and politicians, but their

:04:49.:04:53.

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

:04:53.:04:57.

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

:04:57.:05:06.

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

:05:06.:05:11.

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

:05:11.:05:16.

initial statement from David Cameron. This has come from

:05:16.:05:20.

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

:05:20.:05:24.

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

:05:24.:05:28.

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

:05:28.:05:32.

about alleged corruption, it is about corrupt relationships between

:05:32.:05:39.

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

:05:39.:05:47.

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

:05:47.:05:51.

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

:05:51.:05:56.

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

:05:56.:06:03.

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

:06:03.:06:08.

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

:06:08.:06:14.

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

:06:14.:06:18.

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

:06:18.:06:24.

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

:06:24.:06:27.

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

:06:27.:06:30.

retrospect, it was a mistake to higher Andy Coulson.

:06:30.:06:37.

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

:06:37.:06:41.

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

:06:41.:06:45.

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

:06:45.:06:49.

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

:06:49.:06:54.

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

:06:54.:06:57.

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

:06:57.:07:02.

decision, that he takes responsibility for. He sought

:07:02.:07:06.

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

:07:06.:07:12.

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

:07:12.:07:19.

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

:07:19.:07:22.

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

:07:22.:07:26.

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

:07:26.:07:31.

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

:07:31.:07:36.

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

:07:36.:07:39.

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

:07:39.:07:46.

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

:07:46.:07:51.

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

:07:51.:07:58.

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

:07:58.:08:01.

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

:08:01.:08:06.

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

:08:06.:08:10.

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

:08:10.:08:16.

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

:08:16.:08:24.

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

:08:24.:08:32.

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

:08:32.:08:36.

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

:08:36.:08:41.

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

:08:41.:08:46.

information, or tittle tattle brought to Downing Street and to

:08:46.:08:53.

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

:08:53.:08:56.

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

:08:56.:09:01.

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

:09:01.:09:05.

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

:09:05.:09:15.
:09:15.:09:15.

reinterpret the stuff of. You think incredible investigative reporting

:09:15.:09:19.

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

:09:19.:09:24.

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

:09:24.:09:30.

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

:09:30.:09:38.

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

:09:38.:09:42.

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

:09:42.:09:47.

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

:09:47.:09:53.

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

:09:53.:09:55.

confirmation of the fact that the investigation was completed.

:09:55.:09:59.

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

:09:59.:10:07.

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

:10:07.:10:10.

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

:10:11.:10:15.

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

:10:15.:10:18.

think anyone outside the Westminster village cares whether

:10:18.:10:24.

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

:10:24.:10:28.

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

:10:28.:10:36.

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

:10:36.:10:42.

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

:10:42.:10:47.

could have a much broader discussion about that. This comes

:10:47.:10:53.

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

:10:53.:10:57.

gossip. There were four or five serious representations to

:10:57.:11:02.

challenge his judgment about taking Andy Coulson into the heart of

:11:02.:11:06.

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

:11:06.:11:15.

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

:11:15.:11:17.

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

:11:17.:11:23.

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

:11:23.:11:29.

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

:11:29.:11:35.

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

:11:35.:11:42.

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

:11:42.:11:45.

absolutely accept all the strictures about people being in

:11:45.:11:49.

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

:11:49.:11:53.

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

:11:53.:11:57.

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

:11:57.:12:04.

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

:12:04.:12:10.

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

:12:10.:12:15.

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

:12:15.:12:20.

appointment. The Prime Minister has been clear, he accepts

:12:20.:12:26.

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

:12:26.:12:34.

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

:12:34.:12:39.

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

:12:39.:12:44.

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

:12:44.:12:48.

Prime Minister constraints by the conflict of interest that Andy

:12:48.:12:52.

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

:12:52.:12:55.

deal but when Gordon Brown apologises for selling the gold

:12:55.:13:02.

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

:13:02.:13:05.

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

:13:05.:13:15.

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

:13:15.:13:18.

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

:13:19.:13:24.

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

:13:24.:13:33.

judgement. Do you believe it important that the Prime Minister

:13:33.:13:39.

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

:13:39.:13:43.

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

:13:43.:13:48.

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

:13:48.:13:51.

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

:13:51.:13:54.

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

:13:55.:14:00.

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

:14:00.:14:04.

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

:14:04.:14:09.

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

:14:09.:14:12.

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

:14:12.:14:16.

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

:14:16.:14:21.

giving us details of the inquiry and extending and detailing the

:14:21.:14:26.

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

:14:26.:14:29.

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

:14:30.:14:33.

the British people, which is corruption in the police are

:14:33.:14:38.

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

:14:38.:14:43.

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

:14:43.:14:48.

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

:14:48.:14:54.

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

:14:54.:14:59.

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

:14:59.:15:02.

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

:15:02.:15:07.

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

:15:07.:15:11.

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

:15:11.:15:14.

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

:15:14.:15:18.

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

:15:18.:15:23.

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

:15:23.:15:28.

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

:15:28.:15:34.

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

:15:34.:15:44.
:15:44.:15:45.

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

:15:45.:15:49.

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

:15:49.:15:53.

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

:15:54.:15:58.

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

:15:58.:16:01.

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

:16:01.:16:06.

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

:16:06.:16:11.

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

:16:11.:16:16.

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

:16:16.:16:22.

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

:16:22.:16:24.

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

:16:24.:16:29.

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

:16:29.:16:32.

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

:16:32.:16:35.

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

:16:35.:16:39.

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

:16:39.:16:43.

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

:16:43.:16:48.

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

:16:48.:16:52.

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

:16:52.:16:56.

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

:16:56.:17:00.

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

:17:00.:17:04.

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

:17:04.:17:08.

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

:17:08.:17:12.

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

:17:13.:17:16.

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

:17:16.:17:21.

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

:17:21.:17:26.

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

:17:26.:17:30.

net investigations currently going on, one into the hacking scandal

:17:30.:17:35.

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

:17:35.:17:39.

former head of the Liverpool Merseyside police to be who they

:17:39.:17:43.

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

:17:43.:17:51.

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

:17:51.:17:59.

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

:17:59.:18:05.

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

:18:05.:18:11.

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

:18:11.:18:16.

Eleanor Goodman, Channel 4 political editor formally, George

:18:16.:18:20.

Jones, former Daily Telegraph political editor, was a journalist

:18:20.:18:24.

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

:18:24.:18:30.

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

:18:30.:18:36.

as journalists of great distinction and independence who believe in the

:18:36.:18:46.

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

:18:46.:18:49.

already criticised the PCC for being journalists investigating

:18:49.:18:55.

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

:18:55.:19:02.

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

:19:02.:19:07.

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

:19:07.:19:14.

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

:19:14.:19:18.

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

:19:18.:19:22.

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

:19:22.:19:28.

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

:19:28.:19:33.

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

:19:33.:19:37.

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

:19:37.:19:40.

competitive market and they are fighting to retain successful

:19:40.:19:44.

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

:19:44.:19:49.

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

:19:49.:19:54.

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

:19:54.:19:57.

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

:19:57.:20:02.

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

:20:02.:20:10.

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

:20:10.:20:13.

broadening of the rematch for broadcasters and social media.

:20:13.:20:20.

Broadcasters you can kind of understand, social media seems to

:20:20.:20:25.

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

:20:25.:20:30.

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

:20:30.:20:34.

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

:20:34.:20:37.

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

:20:37.:20:43.

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

:20:43.:20:46.

because the broadcasting regulation is very different from the press

:20:46.:20:51.

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

:20:51.:20:55.

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

:20:55.:20:59.

that out, and once you get into social media we will be bogged down

:20:59.:21:03.

the years. But the great thing about having so many journalists,

:21:03.:21:07.

and if I, on the earlier point, is that all three are good at asking

:21:07.:21:12.

tough questions, and that is what a thing, above all, it is not just

:21:12.:21:16.

their experience within the media that their ability to ask the right

:21:16.:21:21.

questions cricket. The reason I suspect broadcasting is included is

:21:21.:21:24.

that the distinction between broadcasting and print is less and

:21:24.:21:34.

less need -- less meaningful. And too has his -- Andrew has his iPad

:21:34.:21:40.

there. There are long-term questions about the business and I

:21:40.:21:46.

would say it is hard to make the distinction that is currently made.

:21:47.:21:54.

We will not have any newspapers left by 20 -- 2020! It is a vast,

:21:54.:21:59.

vast topic. We are going to say goodbye to our panel this morning,

:21:59.:22:05.

we thank you for being with us on another interesting morning.

:22:05.:22:09.

One extra thing that was announced just before the statement, a

:22:09.:22:14.

parliamentary investigation has been launched by the tend of a man

:22:14.:22:17.

to attack at Rupert Murdoch with shaving foam yesterday. He will

:22:17.:22:20.

appear before magistrates court but they will have a parliamentary

:22:20.:22:25.

investigation tip. We have been keeping an eye on

:22:25.:22:28.

proceedings in the Commons and will pick up on David Cameron's response

:22:29.:22:32.

to Ed Miliband, where he criticise Labour's close relationship with

:22:32.:22:37.

News International. Let us remember who was the adviser

:22:37.:22:40.

to Gordon Brown when he was the Chancellor? The Right Honourable

:22:41.:22:44.

Gentleman! On the issue of the action we have taken, let us

:22:45.:22:48.

remember during the last Parliament reports of the Information

:22:48.:22:52.

Commissioner ignored, reports of the select committee, ignored, the

:22:52.:22:56.

failure of the police investigation, ignored. We know exactly which

:22:56.:23:00.

party was, if you like, the slumber party, and it was the party

:23:00.:23:07.

opposite. Frankly, everyone can see exactly what he is doing, and ate

:23:07.:23:12.

hands to play this for narrow party advantage. The problem has been

:23:12.:23:16.

taking place over many years. The problem is for both our main

:23:16.:23:19.

parties, and the problem is one that the public expect us to stop

:23:19.:23:23.

playing with it to rise to the occasion and deal with it for the

:23:23.:23:33.
:23:33.:23:35.

good of the country. Order! Mr David Davies. Under the previous

:23:35.:23:39.

Labour government, when my Right Honourable Friend the Member for

:23:39.:23:41.

Ashford Damian Green was arrested by the Metropolitan Police, the

:23:41.:23:45.

Prime Minister and Home Secretary of the day were not notified of the

:23:45.:23:50.

details of that investigation. At the time, the Labour front bench in

:23:50.:23:54.

this did -- insisted that they were not told. Is it not therefore the

:23:54.:23:57.

case that not only has Mr Ed Llewellyn not done wrong, but has

:23:57.:24:00.

done exactly what are public servants should do and to say

:24:00.:24:07.

otherwise is hypocrisy? He makes a very good point. When you read the

:24:07.:24:10.

exchange of e-mails and you see what Ed Llewellyn said, you see

:24:10.:24:14.

that it was cleared in advance by Jeremy Hayward, it was absolutely

:24:14.:24:19.

right. We do not live in a country where the Prime Minister orders who

:24:19.:24:29.
:24:29.:24:34.

should be arrested and who The Home Secretary made a statement

:24:34.:24:39.

on Monday of over 1,000 words, but the two words Neil Wallis were not

:24:39.:24:45.

mentioned. She, like me, was not aware of his appointment, but we

:24:45.:24:50.

were not in a situation where Neil Wallis' best buddy was working for

:24:50.:24:55.

us. The Prime Minister was. Did he know that Neil Wallis was giving

:24:55.:25:00.

advice to the Metropolitan Police? No I didn't know that. And as I

:25:00.:25:04.

have said, in relation to the work he did for Andy Coulson, I was not

:25:04.:25:09.

aware of that. This is an important point because one of the issues is

:25:09.:25:13.

the transparency and information that there was about Neil Wallis

:25:13.:25:17.

and the Metropolitan Police. One thing everybody has to say about 10

:25:17.:25:21.

Downing Street, there was no hiding the fact we had employed Andy

:25:21.:25:26.

Coulson. Mr Simon Hughes. I joined the Prime Minister in paying

:25:26.:25:28.

tribute to Paul Stephenson and thank him for the announcements he

:25:28.:25:33.

has made, but will he explicitly say that he accepts that all

:25:33.:25:37.

governments from this one back, five the 20 years, have been far

:25:37.:25:44.

too close to the media giants in this country, and that that has to

:25:44.:25:50.

end, which means no more back door visit to Number Ten? And that we

:25:50.:25:54.

should be able to have not just sight of party political papers but

:25:54.:25:59.

if necessary cabinet papers and the recommendations of the Information

:25:59.:26:03.

Commission and others should be implemented to increase criminal

:26:03.:26:08.

penalties for criminality immediately. I accept that point he

:26:08.:26:12.

makes about transparency. What I have set out is not just official

:26:12.:26:15.

meetings with media executives and proprietors but also private

:26:15.:26:20.

meetings as well, and in relation to a meeting I held with Rupert

:26:20.:26:23.

Murdoch, the fact is not whether he came through the front or back door,

:26:23.:26:28.

but was it declared in the proper way? Yes, it was. In the old days,

:26:28.:26:33.

the only way you found out if Rupert Murdoch has met someone was

:26:33.:26:37.

to wait for Alistair Campbell's diaries! We have been transparent

:26:37.:26:40.

about this, going back to the election, including private and

:26:40.:26:44.

official meetings, whether at Chequers or Downing Street, and I

:26:44.:26:47.

think we need to go further in this regard and this should be the new

:26:47.:26:51.

standard. I say to the right honourable gentleman who published

:26:51.:26:54.

information from when he became leader of the Labour Party, why can

:26:54.:26:59.

we not see back to the general election? Mr Jack Straw. When the

:26:59.:27:05.

Prime Minister read of the extensive investigation in the New

:27:05.:27:10.

York Times on the 1st September last year, what was his reaction to

:27:11.:27:15.

that, and what did he do? question I asked myself all the way

:27:15.:27:18.

through his, is there new information that Andy Coulson knew

:27:18.:27:22.

about hacking at the News Of The World? I could not be clearer about

:27:22.:27:27.

this. If it turns out he knew about the hacking, he will have lied to

:27:27.:27:32.

the select committee, police, to a court of law, and to me. I made the

:27:32.:27:35.

decision to employ him in good faith because of the assurances he

:27:35.:27:39.

gave me. There was no information in that article that would have led

:27:39.:27:45.

me to change my mind about those assurances. But if it turns out...

:27:45.:27:51.

As I said, I could not be clearer, if it turns out that he knew about

:27:51.:27:55.

the hacking, then that will be a matter of huge regret, great

:27:55.:27:59.

apology, a disgrace not only that he worked in government but also,

:27:59.:28:03.

vitally, something that will be subject to criminal prosecutions.

:28:03.:28:12.

Mr John Whittingdale. Does my right honourable friend agree that what

:28:12.:28:15.

people really care about is the appalling revelations of what has

:28:15.:28:19.

been going on in the newsroom at the News Of The World and the

:28:19.:28:21.

involvement of the Metropolitan Police, and that the public anger

:28:21.:28:26.

about that is expressly found by thousands of hard-working and

:28:26.:28:30.

honest journalists and thousands of dedicated and courageous police

:28:30.:28:34.

officers? For that reason, it is essential that the police

:28:34.:28:38.

investigation should be completed as quickly as possible, the IPCC's

:28:38.:28:42.

investigation should be completed and the judicial requiring --

:28:42.:28:46.

judicial inquiry should be completed as soon as possible, and

:28:46.:28:48.

canny give assurance they will be given the priority they should have

:28:48.:28:53.

been given a long time ago. He is entirely right. At the absolute

:28:53.:28:57.

heart of this we have got to keep the victims of the hacking scandal,

:28:57.:29:01.

and those are people who suffered appallingly already and were made

:29:01.:29:06.

to suffer all over again. The key thing here is the extent and scale

:29:06.:29:10.

of the judicial inquiry. An inquiry like this into the media,

:29:10.:29:14.

malpractice, the police and politicians, too, has not been held

:29:14.:29:18.

for many years. It has been talked about and debated and will now be

:29:18.:29:21.

underway, and I wanted to get on with its work as rapidly as

:29:21.:29:28.

possible. Tom Robson. I must challenge the Prime Minister on the

:29:28.:29:33.

accuracy of one of his assertions. He said that nobody raised Andy

:29:33.:29:37.

Coulson's conduct with him whilst he worked for the Prime Minister. I

:29:37.:29:43.

did in a letter on 4th October last year after new allegations that he

:29:43.:29:46.

had listened to tapes of intercepted voicemail messages came

:29:46.:29:51.

through, and they said in the letter that this cast doubt on the

:29:51.:29:56.

accuracy of Mr Coulson's Stegmann. I am still waiting for a reply. --

:29:56.:30:01.

Mr Coulson's statement. Let me pay tribute to the honourable gentleman

:30:01.:30:07.

and what he has done. But the point I am making is simply this, that

:30:07.:30:11.

the time that Andy Coulson spent at Number Ten Downing Street, the work

:30:11.:30:15.

he did for the government, no one has complained against, and that

:30:15.:30:18.

seems to me to be important, because what I have said is that I

:30:19.:30:23.

gave him a second chance after he had resigned from the News Of The

:30:23.:30:26.

World because of what happened under his watch, and no one has

:30:26.:30:30.

raised with me any of his conduct at Number Ten while he carried out

:30:30.:30:40.
:30:40.:30:40.

The Prime Minister has said that contact with the media will be

:30:40.:30:43.

published since the general election. I have to say they do not

:30:43.:30:47.

think that is good enough. We need to know the context of that the

:30:47.:30:50.

Government -- the contacts that the Government have had over the last

:30:50.:30:54.

10 years with the media and an investigation into the Home Office

:30:54.:31:00.

and what they were doing. This inquiry is specifically looking at

:31:00.:31:03.

the relationship between politicians and the media and at

:31:03.:31:09.

the request of Hacked Off and the down -- our family, the conduct of

:31:09.:31:16.

both. -- downer family. I think we'll need to be clear,

:31:16.:31:21.

particularly the two main parties, that the level of contact has been

:31:21.:31:25.

too great and we spent too much time trying to get on with media

:31:25.:31:30.

companies to get our message across. As a result, we have put on the

:31:30.:31:37.

back-burner too often the result -- the issues of how to regulate the

:31:37.:31:42.

media. That is the mistake we made. We have to be honest about that. It

:31:42.:31:47.

is not just the relationship with News International, it is also

:31:47.:31:51.

about the work we do try to win over the BBC or the Independent or

:31:51.:31:54.

the Guardian. Let us be frank and transparent about the meetings we

:31:54.:32:01.

have had. Then we can learn lessons and use this as a cathartic moment

:32:01.:32:07.

to sort out the relationship. not sure that the Prime Minister

:32:07.:32:13.

was a wake at 5:00am this morning, but I'm glad to hear that. The Home

:32:13.:32:16.

Affairs Committee published a unanimous report which points out

:32:16.:32:20.

the fact that we believe there were serious misjudgments in the police

:32:20.:32:24.

investigation. As well as that, that News International had

:32:24.:32:27.

deliberately thwarted the investigation. He will not have a

:32:27.:32:30.

chance to read the evidence of Lord MacDonald who said he took five

:32:30.:32:35.

minutes to look at the file to realise there was criminality. The

:32:35.:32:39.

file was with his firm for four years. Will the send the message

:32:39.:32:43.

out that anyone who has information about this matter should handed

:32:43.:32:48.

over immediately to Sue Akers and explain why it has been withheld.

:32:48.:32:52.

will send out that message from this dispatch box at the same time

:32:52.:32:54.

as thanking the right honourable gentleman for the workers'

:32:54.:33:00.

committee has done. I did not look at all the evidence of a look that

:33:00.:33:02.

the key conclusions of the report. I think the work is committee is

:33:02.:33:06.

doing, drilling into the conduct of News International and the police,

:33:06.:33:12.

is extremely valuable. We now have to lead the police investigation

:33:12.:33:19.

happen, properly resourced, to get underway, to get to the truth and

:33:19.:33:22.

make the proper conclusions. I think the right honourable

:33:22.:33:28.

gentleman has played a good role in making that happen. Does the Prime

:33:28.:33:32.

Minister share my concern that at a time when this House is involved in

:33:32.:33:36.

a very important discussion about this awful issue of phone hacking,

:33:36.:33:39.

and at a time when most people and the country are most concerned

:33:39.:33:42.

about what is going on in the Eurozone area and the impact that

:33:42.:33:46.

that might have on their jobs and their employment in this country,

:33:46.:33:53.

that the Leader of the Opposition is so narrowly focused on party

:33:53.:33:59.

political points? The point a wall made to all honourable members is

:33:59.:34:02.

that the public want us to sort this out. One of the reasons they

:34:02.:34:07.

want us to do it on a cross-party basis is they want us to get on to

:34:07.:34:10.

the other issues that they care so deeply about. Everyone has to

:34:10.:34:15.

recognise the threat and the problems that we face. There are

:34:15.:34:19.

difficulties in the Eurozone that will affect us in the UK. I

:34:19.:34:22.

understand and recognise that we have to deal with this before we

:34:22.:34:32.
:34:32.:34:32.

can get on with those dishes. his conversations with the Murdochs,

:34:32.:34:36.

with Mrs Brooks and other News Corp people, was there ever any mention

:34:36.:34:43.

of the BSkyB Brit -- BSkyB bid? There was never a conversation that

:34:43.:34:46.

could have been held in front of the Select Committee. He asked me

:34:46.:34:51.

to answer the question, perhaps he will now be transparent, as he was

:34:51.:34:56.

Culture Secretary, about all the contacts he has had with News

:34:56.:34:59.

International over the years. I have set out the clearest possible

:34:59.:35:06.

position. It is for others to now do the same thing. In light of

:35:06.:35:10.

Rebekah Brooks' revelations about her cosy relationship was between

:35:10.:35:14.

Tony Blair and News International, and the secret backdoor meetings

:35:15.:35:18.

under both the last and present governments, does the Prime

:35:18.:35:22.

Minister agree that this explains why successive governments have

:35:22.:35:28.

been so reluctant to Act in response to the 2003 Culture, Media

:35:28.:35:33.

and Sport recommendation, the 2006 Media Report and the call from Lib

:35:33.:35:41.

Dem MPs for a judicial inquiry last year. People should not showered

:35:41.:35:44.

the honourable lady down because she is making a valid point. It

:35:44.:35:48.

does not reflect well on Labour or can the Conservatives. There were

:35:48.:35:57.

warnings about what was going on from the Select Committee. We did

:35:57.:36:03.

not put the issue of regulating the media high up and off -- high up

:36:03.:36:07.

the agenda. We need to work on this and get it right, respond to those

:36:07.:36:15.

reports and put some of these proposals into the law. My right

:36:15.:36:18.

honourable friend the member who chairs the Home Affairs Committee

:36:18.:36:23.

referred earlier to the file compiled in 2007 which was sent off

:36:23.:36:31.

to Harbottle and Lewis. In that, according to the former GP, there

:36:31.:36:33.

is blindingly obvious elements that police officers were paid for

:36:33.:36:37.

information by the newspaper. News International are still refusing to

:36:38.:36:43.

allow that to be fully considered and are insisting on client

:36:43.:36:46.

confidentiality so Harbottle and Lewis are an important British firm

:36:46.:36:50.

and they are unable to put their side of the argument across. Is

:36:50.:36:56.

this not clear evidence that News International, contrary to the

:36:56.:37:00.

potential military yesterday, are still refusing to co-operate fully?

:37:00.:37:05.

The point I would make is that that information if it is important to

:37:05.:37:10.

the inquiry, needs to be given to the police and to the inquiry. We

:37:10.:37:15.

need for the police and the inquiry to go in pursuit of the truth. If

:37:15.:37:18.

people have been paying police officers, those police officers

:37:18.:37:21.

need to be prosecuted and the people who did the paying need to

:37:21.:37:26.

be prosecuted. It is as simple as that. After hearing the evidence

:37:26.:37:30.

given to the Home Affairs Select Committee, can I warmly welcome

:37:30.:37:33.

what my honourable friend has said today that the attention given to

:37:33.:37:36.

the victims of phone hacking, including a wide variety of people

:37:36.:37:40.

including many members of the public who have suffered tragedies?

:37:40.:37:44.

Is aware that in the evidence, it emerges that it will take a

:37:44.:37:49.

considerable rate of time -- length of time of the current rate of

:37:49.:37:58.

process for all of those to be contacted? Will be do what they can

:37:58.:38:04.

to make sure those are investigated? I take the point.

:38:04.:38:08.

With the current rate of progress, it could take too long a time to

:38:08.:38:11.

get this done. I know there will be conversations with the police and

:38:11.:38:14.

the Metropolitan Police Authority to make sure adequate resources are

:38:14.:38:18.

put into this investigation. It is already a far bigger investigation

:38:18.:38:25.

than the first, failed investigation. They are welcome the

:38:25.:38:27.

Prime Minister's decision to widen the terms of reference for the

:38:27.:38:31.

inquiry to include not just the press and broadcasters and social

:38:31.:38:36.

media as well. Can I be reassured that it will also include other

:38:36.:38:39.

illegal and unethical activities such as blagging, hacking into e-

:38:39.:38:44.

mail accounts, and it will extend to all parts of the United Kingdom,

:38:44.:38:49.

and that in interest -- in the interest of the victims of crime

:38:49.:38:53.

and terrorism, that both of the main parties will be open about the

:38:53.:38:56.

extent of their relationship with the Murdoch empire? On the last

:38:57.:39:02.

point, I have been totally transparent and will go on being

:39:02.:39:07.

transparent. On the issue awful the terms of reference mention, of

:39:07.:39:14.

course this inquiry can look at blagging and all of the crimes that

:39:14.:39:18.

have been documented. One of the issues were -- was that if you

:39:18.:39:23.

mention some forms but not others, you give additional priority. Lord

:39:23.:39:29.

Justice Levison can go wherever the evidence leads. Does my right

:39:29.:39:31.

honourable friend agree that after the extraordinary events of the

:39:31.:39:35.

last few days, last thing the general public wants to see is

:39:35.:39:45.
:39:45.:39:49.

cheap partisanship. We want to hear the honourable lady and a focus on

:39:49.:39:53.

Andy Coulson comes ill from the party of Tom Baldwin and Damian

:39:53.:40:01.

McBride. The honourable lady makes an -- a good point. Can I commend

:40:01.:40:05.

her for her questioning and what she did yesterday on the Select

:40:05.:40:07.

Committee were a thing she showed commendable plot, if I can put it

:40:07.:40:17.
:40:17.:40:23.

that way, as well as asking some extremely pertinent questions?

:40:23.:40:27.

the course of the past few minutes, the Prime Minister has been asked a

:40:27.:40:34.

simple question twice and refused to answer it. As Prime Minister,

:40:34.:40:40.

did he ever discuss the question of the BSkyB bid with News

:40:40.:40:45.

International at the meetings they attended? I never had one in

:40:45.:40:54.

appropriate conversation. And let me be clear, I completely took

:40:54.:41:00.

myself out of any decision-making about this bid. I had no role

:41:00.:41:04.

limits, in when the results were going to be made, in when the

:41:04.:41:07.

announcements were going to be made and that is the point. When the

:41:07.:41:12.

honourable gentleman makes signals like that. Order. The House, again,

:41:12.:41:16.

needs to come down. The question was probably heard, the Prime

:41:17.:41:23.

Minister's answer must be properly heard. I have answered the question.

:41:23.:41:29.

The pointer would make his, unlike the party he has been supporting

:41:29.:41:33.

for the last god knows how many years, this party set out all its

:41:33.:41:37.

meetings, everything it did, in stark contrast to the party

:41:37.:41:44.

opposite. Judging the mood of the chamber, this might be unpopular

:41:44.:41:48.

thing to say but outside the Westminster bobble, I get the

:41:48.:41:53.

impression that the nation has had its fill on the subject. It is

:41:53.:41:57.

actually getting fed up. It wants answers about the police corruption

:41:57.:42:01.

and about the hacking and the relationship between the press and

:42:01.:42:05.

the media. But there is an inquiry underway and that is where the

:42:05.:42:10.

answers will come. I think it is time that the Westminster frenzy is

:42:10.:42:15.

placed on hold. There are other pressing matters, Mr Speaker, that

:42:15.:42:20.

the nation expects us to deal with. My honourable friend makes a good

:42:20.:42:24.

point. We have set up the fullest possible inquiry, an inquiry never

:42:24.:42:28.

held under the 13 years of a last government. We have to let that

:42:28.:42:33.

inquiry find the answers to all of these questions. It looks at the

:42:33.:42:38.

police, media, BSkyB, the conduct of politicians, and it is able to

:42:38.:42:41.

ask all of those questions and we should be able to allow it to get

:42:41.:42:47.

on with the job. Yesterday, News International's defence seems to

:42:47.:42:53.

have shifted from one role reporter to one possibly more role lawyer.

:42:53.:42:57.

They still have not fully revealed to Newport and when and to

:42:57.:43:01.

participate at that the cover-up. Rupert Murdoch said to be Select

:43:01.:43:05.

Committee that that was unsatisfactory. What would you urge

:43:05.:43:09.

News International to do now to resolve the situation? Simple, tell

:43:09.:43:17.

the truth to the police and to the inquiry. Does the Prime Minister

:43:17.:43:23.

agree with me that having failed the victims in 2006, when the

:43:23.:43:28.

Government ignored the ICO's warnings, and having failed victims

:43:28.:43:31.

in 2009 when the Met dismissed evidence in their own position, we

:43:31.:43:37.

should not fail them now by simply apportioning blame? -- in their own

:43:37.:43:41.

possession. We need reform of our police, our media and our politics.

:43:41.:43:44.

The honourable lady is right. We will go back over these reports and

:43:44.:43:50.

over the missed warnings. The inquiry will be able to do that,

:43:50.:43:55.

too, and we should use that information to use this once in a

:43:55.:43:59.

generation chance to get media regulation right. This is about

:43:59.:44:06.

public confidence. Can I ask the Prime Minister this question? Does

:44:06.:44:10.

he really feel that his conduct as Leader of the Opposition and then

:44:10.:44:18.

as Prime Minister should inspire confidence, bearing in mind the

:44:18.:44:21.

phone hacking allegations and the way in which he employed the former

:44:21.:44:24.

editor of the News of the World? Does he not realise that too many

:44:24.:44:28.

people, how he has acted in the last few years has been pretty

:44:28.:44:36.

sordid? My reply is yes, because which government has set up a

:44:36.:44:41.

judicial inquiry? This one. Which government has made sure there is a

:44:41.:44:45.

fully resourced and staffed police investigation? This one. Which

:44:46.:44:49.

government it is being totally transparent about its conduct and

:44:49.:44:52.

contact with the media and asking others to do the same? That is what

:44:52.:44:57.

this Government has done. His government for 13 years had these

:44:57.:45:03.

opportunities and failed to take them. Would the Prime Minister

:45:03.:45:06.

agree that in the past, when the House of Commons has been faced

:45:06.:45:10.

with big issues, it has had a tendency for knee-jerk over-

:45:10.:45:13.

reaction? Would he agree that actually newspapers are a force for

:45:13.:45:17.

good in this country and that actually what we want at the end of

:45:17.:45:21.

this process is criminality weeded out of the media, but nothing that

:45:21.:45:25.

impinges on a free press, free speech, and holding people in

:45:25.:45:32.

authority to a counter? -- holding people in authority to account.

:45:32.:45:36.

have to make sure that in the debate we have about this, we show

:45:36.:45:39.

an element of restraint in the regulation of the media because the

:45:39.:45:42.

result was a danger that the pendulum swings too far the other

:45:42.:45:49.

way and we start and -- we start to threaten independent journalism, a

:45:49.:45:52.

strong and independent media. When we consider the scandals uncovered

:45:52.:45:56.

in recent years, it has often been the press that have done it, and

:45:57.:46:00.

not the regulators. I'm sure we will come on to this in the debate

:46:00.:46:10.
:46:10.:46:11.

we have later but it is vital to Rebecca Brooks yesterday described

:46:11.:46:15.

the Prime Minister as a friend and a neighbour. We heard from Jeremy

:46:15.:46:25.
:46:25.:46:26.

Clarkson about Christmas walks and conversations over sausages. Order!

:46:27.:46:32.

This is the mother of Parliament where we have free speech. This

:46:32.:46:39.

question will be heard, that is the end of it. Given the Butler review

:46:39.:46:43.

in the last Parliament, does the Prime Minister believe that such

:46:43.:46:48.

informality on his behalf was consistent with what is expected?

:46:48.:46:52.

What I would say to the honourable gentleman is that one of the things

:46:52.:46:56.

that came out of the evidence yesterday is that, whereas Rebekah

:46:57.:47:00.

Brooks was invited six times in year to Number Ten Downing Street

:47:00.:47:04.

under both the former prime ministers, she has not been invited

:47:04.:47:10.

to Number Ten Downing Street by me. Of course, I have set out... The

:47:10.:47:15.

great contrast is I have set out all of the contacts and meetings

:47:15.:47:19.

that I have had in complete contrast to the party opposite, and

:47:19.:47:23.

I can say this to the Honourable Gentleman, I have never held a

:47:23.:47:33.
:47:33.:47:34.

slumber party or seen her in her pyjamas! Thank you, Mr Speaker. The

:47:34.:47:42.

confidence of my constituents in Northamptonshire... Order, order! I

:47:42.:47:52.
:47:52.:47:53.

want to hear and the House wants to hear. I will start again. The

:47:53.:47:56.

confidence of my constituents in Northampton in the political

:47:56.:48:01.

process has been progressively undermined and can be traced to the

:48:01.:48:07.

dismal example of politicians in the mid- 1990s laying all before

:48:07.:48:13.

the older of media barons. How can we change that culture, address the

:48:13.:48:16.

miserable failure of political oversight and leadership, and

:48:16.:48:20.

ensure that never again will we allow the propriety to be

:48:20.:48:26.

sacrificed whilst those responsible are asleep on what? Are I think the

:48:26.:48:30.

short answer to the honourable gentleman is that transparency is

:48:30.:48:36.

the correct answer. I will -- I touched on this one I opened the

:48:36.:48:42.

debate in my speech, but I think that everyone should see how often

:48:42.:48:48.

that we need. The Prime Minister has repeatedly emphasised that he

:48:48.:48:53.

has no evidence of any complaint or questions about the conduct of Andy

:48:53.:48:58.

Coulson while he was heading a government media service. Will the

:48:58.:49:03.

Prime Minister confirm that a year ago, during the period when Mr

:49:03.:49:05.

Coulson was director of communications, the Cabinet

:49:05.:49:09.

Secretary was alerted to evidence of illegal phone hacking, covert

:49:09.:49:13.

surveillance, and hostile media briefing directed against a senior

:49:13.:49:19.

official in the government said this? What action, if any, was

:49:19.:49:22.

taken to investigate what appears to have been disgraceful and

:49:23.:49:26.

illegal conduct close to the heart of government? I have to look

:49:26.:49:30.

closely at what the honourable gentleman says, but the point I

:49:30.:49:34.

have made, and I have never seen evidence to go against it, is in

:49:34.:49:38.

the period Andy Coulson worked at Number Ten Downing Street as head

:49:38.:49:41.

of communications, there was no complaint about the way he did his

:49:41.:49:46.

job. I take responsibility for employing him, I take

:49:46.:49:49.

responsibility for that decision and I have laid out today what I

:49:49.:49:53.

think of that now and all that has been learned, and you have to learn

:49:53.:49:56.

these lessons if you are going to get things right in the future.

:49:56.:50:00.

What I would say in my defence is in the time he was at Downing

:50:00.:50:03.

Street, he did not behave in a way that anyone that was inappropriate,

:50:03.:50:08.

and that was important because the decision was to employ him, the

:50:08.:50:11.

decision was his to leave, and during that period people cannot

:50:12.:50:19.

point to his conduct and say that was a misjudgment. Many

:50:19.:50:22.

constituents have contacted me regarding this issue and they will

:50:22.:50:25.

join me in Markham in a statement today, but many others have been in

:50:25.:50:29.

touch concerning other important issues such as the crisis in the

:50:29.:50:34.

eurozone and the situation in Africa. Can the Prime Minister

:50:34.:50:36.

reassure my constituents that this government is dealing with all

:50:36.:50:41.

issues and not focusing on phone hacking? The honourable lady is

:50:41.:50:45.

right, people wanted to get on with the other issues at a time when we

:50:45.:50:48.

need the economy to grow, need to provide more jobs, have to get to

:50:48.:50:53.

grips with problems of the cost of living, they want reforms and

:50:53.:50:56.

welfare and immigration. Yes, they want us to deal with it issue but

:50:56.:50:59.

they want us to get on with the other issues this country needs to

:50:59.:51:03.

deal with. A flavour of the Commons debate

:51:03.:51:07.

with MPs questioning David Cameron. It continues all afternoon in the

:51:07.:51:11.

Commons and you can much coverage on BBC Parliament. But let's

:51:11.:51:14.

discuss that debate and where this episode leaves British politics

:51:14.:51:18.

with Kevin Maguire from the Mirror and Tim Montgomery from

:51:18.:51:23.

Conservative time. What about David Cameron's

:51:23.:51:28.

performance? It was a big day today, cutting short his trip to Africa.

:51:28.:51:33.

How did he do? I think he did very well, and I say that as someone who

:51:33.:51:37.

thinks he has been behind the curve for the last few weeks. He was very

:51:37.:51:41.

authoritative today and was where the British people want that Prime

:51:41.:51:44.

Minister to be. He has taken tough action to deal with the problems

:51:44.:51:48.

that occurred during the Labour years, and getting the British

:51:48.:51:51.

people now have seen the Prime Minister take action and what their

:51:51.:51:55.

government to get focused on the issues they are concerned about,

:51:55.:51:59.

like the euro, immigration, crime, and I think enough has been done

:51:59.:52:02.

now for him to have earned the right to move on. Has he done

:52:02.:52:06.

enough to persuade his own backbenchers? They probably will

:52:06.:52:10.

have sat there and C Ed Miliband having had a pretty good time of it

:52:10.:52:16.

through the phone hacking scandal, and perhaps think the Prime

:52:16.:52:20.

Minister has been behind the curve. They were warring their support

:52:20.:52:24.

today, they were very enthusiastic, and they think we are beginning to

:52:24.:52:29.

see the signs of a overreach from Ed Miliband. He has had a good

:52:29.:52:34.

couple of weeks, but there was an element today where he could see

:52:34.:52:38.

conspiracy theories behind every corner. He needs to address his

:52:38.:52:41.

fundamental weakness as Labour leader, that people do not trust

:52:41.:52:45.

him on the economy, and as we are going into a summer when the

:52:45.:52:50.

economy will be dominant, he needs to change focus. Do you think,

:52:50.:52:54.

Kevin, that Ed Miliband hit the wrong note today? That having had a

:52:54.:52:58.

few weeks of putting pressure on David Cameron, today was a day to

:52:58.:53:01.

say, we all have to look at relationships with the press, with

:53:01.:53:06.

the police, rather than a continuing on the, why did you hire

:53:06.:53:13.

Andy Coulson? Today was party political on both sides. David

:53:13.:53:17.

Cameron did do well, it was very feisty, although I am sure some of

:53:17.:53:20.

his answers on what he did or didn't know on Andy Coulson

:53:20.:53:24.

probably would not stand up to sustained questioning if he came

:53:24.:53:33.

and sat here. Let's take the BSkyB question. He was asked several

:53:33.:53:37.

times, in all of the meetings of News International, has he ever

:53:38.:53:43.

raised the issue of BSkyB? His first answer to that was, as

:53:43.:53:49.

Rebecca Brooks said yesterday, the second was, I have never had an

:53:49.:53:53.

inappropriate discussion. I am afraid most people would think that

:53:53.:54:01.

he did, then, not inappropriate but he did discuss BSkyB. Yes, that he

:54:01.:54:06.

did discuss it. The meetings, he has been transparent about

:54:06.:54:09.

discussing the meetings between News International and the

:54:09.:54:12.

government, but not about those informal social interactions.

:54:12.:54:17.

has always been a case in Downing Street, you go downstairs it is

:54:17.:54:20.

recorded, you go upstairs for a private meeting that never was. He

:54:20.:54:25.

has had so much social contact, as did Gordon Brown and Tony Blair...

:54:25.:54:30.

Much has been made of Gordon Brown even by a Rupert Murdoch himself

:54:30.:54:35.

yesterday, how cosy they were with the Murdochs. A very good line with

:54:35.:54:39.

David Cameron, I have never seen Rebekah Brooks in her pyjamas!

:54:39.:54:45.

haven't, have you? I am glad to year that! No one would admit it

:54:45.:54:53.

now anyway! I have never seen her dressed in appropriately! In terms

:54:53.:54:57.

of inappropriate relationships, where it comes to Labour's

:54:57.:55:02.

relationships with the Murdochs, not just Tony Blair and Gordon

:55:02.:55:05.

Brown, are they putting themselves in the firing line if they continue

:55:05.:55:10.

in that vein? Yes, you cannot ignore the past and Labour was too

:55:10.:55:14.

close. Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell ran their media operations

:55:14.:55:18.

through News International. Gordon Brown tried to cosy up,

:55:18.:55:23.

unsuccessfully. Successful for a while. True, but in the end he got

:55:23.:55:29.

his fingers burned. Ed Miliband has got quite clean hands on this.

:55:29.:55:37.

people would dispute that. Andy Coulson obviously was there at the

:55:37.:55:42.

Prime Minister's side but has been done for a few months. Still at Ed

:55:42.:55:45.

Miliband's side is Tom Baldwin who used to work at the Times and News

:55:45.:55:50.

International. But there is no indication of wrong doing. That was

:55:50.:55:54.

the position of Andy Coulson for a while. Very specific allegations

:55:54.:56:00.

have been made about him black ink into bank accounts. The killer

:56:00.:56:07.

facts have yet to come out -- about him blagging. When will we get

:56:07.:56:13.

them? He has not spoken to me since the five o'clock interview on

:56:13.:56:19.

election night! I am not surprised! For someone trying to ride his high

:56:19.:56:24.

horse, as Ed Miliband is doing, saying he is whiter than white, and

:56:24.:56:27.

have a guy with significant question marks hanging over him, is

:56:27.:56:30.

dangerous, as well as Rupert Murdoch agreeing to was yesterday

:56:31.:56:34.

the scale of the meetings that have taken place between past Labour

:56:35.:56:38.

leaders and the Murdoch empire. What about the political benefits

:56:38.:56:44.

for Ed Miliband and the Labour Party? There were polls that said,

:56:44.:56:46.

how are engaged is the public generally in this when you have the

:56:46.:56:51.

other issues? But also the Labour Party has not improved that much.

:56:51.:56:56.

Ed Miliband's standard has improved, he will be pleased about that?

:56:56.:57:02.

should be, because it was very low! He has made himself safe within the

:57:02.:57:05.

Labour Purdie. Murdoch is a bogeyman for many in the Labour

:57:06.:57:09.

Party. But he has not yet broken through with the country as a whole,

:57:09.:57:14.

but it is a slow burner. It may never explode fully, it may not be

:57:14.:57:19.

the dynamite fact to nail David Cameron to Andy Coulson knowing

:57:19.:57:23.

things he should not have known, because that may not exist, but if

:57:23.:57:29.

it does then I think Ed Miliband will look very different. In terms

:57:29.:57:34.

of David Cameron, over the last few days we had a bitter debate earlier

:57:34.:57:39.

about whether senior Tories have been -- we had a bit of a debate

:57:39.:57:44.

about where the senior Tories have been batting for David Cameron. We

:57:44.:57:48.

were told they did not know what the line was. What do you say to

:57:48.:57:53.

that? I think David Cameron will be OK after this. Overall approval

:57:53.:57:57.

ratings have not changed but I think there are lessons to be

:57:57.:58:01.

learned. Traditionally, you have a Tory party chairman in the media

:58:01.:58:05.

every day batting for the Prime Minister. I rang Central Office

:58:05.:58:11.

about this the other day, I wondered whether she was unwell or

:58:11.:58:14.

abroad, and apparently she is preparing for the party conference

:58:14.:58:19.

which is three months of. She has not spoken to me since the Tory

:58:19.:58:25.

party conference either! Or a car crash into the! Cameron desperately

:58:25.:58:30.

needs that kind of figure out there doing this stuff he needs to be

:58:30.:58:37.

above -- a car crash into view. He needs to go puzzle of the

:58:37.:58:40.

hypocrisies and contradictions in Labour's positioned.

:58:40.:58:46.

That is it for today, we thank all of our guests. That really is it

:58:46.:58:50.

for the summer after two false start! We will not be back tomorrow,

:58:50.:58:53.

David Cameron flies home early from a trade mission to Africa to respond to revelations of the past few days.

Hot on the heels of yesterday's evidence sessions the Home Affairs Select Committee publishes a damning report on the police investigation. We talk its chaiman Keith Vaz.


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