24/07/2012 Newsnight


The French crackdown on female circumcision - why doesn't the UK follow suit? Plus, big name charges for phone hacking, and the man who polices the Olympics. With Gavin Esler.

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Tonight, is Britain becoming the European capital for female genital


mutilation. It has been illegal here for decades, but there has


never been a single prosecution. In a Newsnight investigation, we


show how in France, while the authorities take a very tough line


on those who do the cutting. Doctors offer medical aid to the


victims. The French campaign against female


genital mutilation is thorough and long-term. If a child slips through


the net, or if a woman immigrant arrives in the country who has been


mutilated, reconstructive surgery is at hand. Tonight activists tell


us parents are coming to this country instead. People from other


European countries, they will go to the UK and circumcise their


daughters there. We will ask why a blind eye is being turned to the


horrific multlation of young women here, with the Home Office minister,


Lynne Featherstone, and a MoDp who went under as a child, and a


representative of the Somali children. How do the children of


the affected communities feel about this tradition. We will ask some of


the young people who helped us with our investigation.


Also tonight, Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and others are charged with


phone hacking. Anybody who knows me or has worked with me, knows that I


wouldn't, or didn't do anything to damage the Milly Dowler


investigation. Good evening, if it was girls with


blonde hair and blue eyes being cut, what would the Government do, that


is a question a student from Bristol wants to ask David Cameron.


Who question assumes it is racism behind the fact that despite female


gentital mutilation being illegal in Britain since 1985, there have


been no prosecutions, and no shortage of stories about it


happening here. Tonight we will explore why girls in the UK are


having their genitals cut, and what the Government can and should do


about it. Sue Lloyd Roberts has been


investigating female gentital mutilation from around the world.


Her shocking report from Egypt earlier in the year showed how


women there have been mutilated, even though it was banned. Some


estimates suggest more than 20 though young girls are at risk in


the UK each year. Tonight we look at the tough stance taken in France,


where around 100 parents and practitioners have been prosecuted


for FGM, we hear from activist who is say parents are travelling to


the UK specifically to get their daughters cut here. First, here is


Sue Lloyd Roberts, her report Paris is a city which most ofs us


associate with romance, love and sexual adventure. But for many of


the country's African immigrant women, a cruel mutilation, carried


out in the name of tradition, when they were children, has left them


insensitive to such attractions. TRANSLATION: I realised things were


not right with my sexuality, with my partner, and it was to do with


the cutting. Fatou had already been mutilated when she came to Paris


from the Ivory Coast as a child. Her clitoris had been removed,


affecting her sex life, and the vaginal area sewn together, causing


severe complication when she gave birth to her son. TRANSLATION:


want to say to the people who do this to us that it can ruin your


life, your happiness. It damages you psychologically, physically and


sexually. Yasmin was born and mutilated in Paris. TRANSLATION:


happened when I was very little. I was two or three years old in the


apartment where I lived with my parents. I can't tell you how it


was done, because I can't remember. But I can tell you one thing, I


still wake up screaming with the same nightmare, of a bath tub


filled with blood. It is possible that Yasmin might


have been mutilated by Hawa, working as a practiceer in of FGM


at the time. Does she know -- practitioner of FGM, does she know


how many she cut? TRANSLATION: could I know, I'm not like the


French and you, I don't write everything down. I started cutting


because in Mali my grandmother did it, but she was ill, I was told to


cut my niece, and then I continued here. I have seen a lot of girls


cut here, many died. Even here, in this building, I have seen girls


who got ill and lost a lot of blood. Now I discourage people from doing


it. After years of practising her trade, the neighbours finally


complained about the screaming that came from her flat, and called the


police. In a trial which gripped the country, 13 years ago. Hawa was


charged on 48 counts of cutting and sent to prison. In all, there have


been some 100 such convictions in France. TRANSLATION: It is OK what


they did to me, they had to send me to prison, they did their job.


bears surprisingly little rancour after several years in jail, and


was friendly with the lawyer who acted for the children in her trial,


how come they are friends? TRANSLATION: The reason I trusted


her is that she told the truth, and I like that. The law is the same


for everybody. When a black child is hurt, it is exactly the same as


if a white child is hurt, so the law, I wanted the law to be


enforced, in order to protect children. They now campaign against


FGM together. The lawyer believes that trials have helped, fewer


cases are now coming to court. She dispayers that across the channel


no-one has ever been -- despairs that across the channel no-one has


been prosecuted. In Great Britain I heard that no-one had the guts to


report that a little girl in that family, or that family has been cut.


Either in Great Britain or either during holidays abroad. Why? That's


the wonder. The French believe in total asimulation for their


immigrants, who come mainly from Franco Africa, Senegal, Mali and


the Ivory Coast. The French scoff at what they call "British cultural


sensitivites". We have seen bans here on headscarves, burkas, forced


marriage and female genital mutilation, of all, they say the


last is most serious, French society simply will not accept the


mutilation of children. All French mothers are expected to attend


mother and child clinics for regular check-ups until the child


is six years old. Where doctors have no inhibition about examining


a girl's genitalia. TRANSLATION: After six years old, when we can no


longer monitor girls here, we liaise with the school health


inspector, who visit schools regularly, so they can check on


girls from families considered most at risk. If we find a young woman


who has been mutilated, we offer her medical and psychological


support, and also surgery, if she wants. I will reconstruct the


clitoris, the gland of the clitoris and put it in place, it takes


approximately half an hour. This doctor operates on about 50 women a


month. Women come from all over the world, including from the UK,


though the majority are French immigrants. For them he operates


for free, the state pays the cost. So, we are able to restore a normal


living clitoris. Although the visible clitoris was cut from the


women as a child, part of it remains in the body. The doctor can


bring that to the surface. I will be able to restore the labia, the


upper part of it, it is very important for intercourse to have a


normal sexuality, and it is also very important for normal


conditions of livery. It is not quite normal, but it is a good


restoration. Fatou had the operation a few


months ago. TRANSLATION: I feel a complete person, at last, after my


operation. Now I need gradually to get to know my sexuality. This is


what I'm doing now, and it's going The French approach to FGM is


nothing if not thorough, in contrast to the UK. The director of


an organisation that fights FGM here told me how she was tipped off


by a family member of an ethnic community, who told her that two


little girls were at risk of being taken to London. Someone of this


community called our organisations to say the family have train


tickets to take the Eurostar to go to London, two girls will go in a


way to undergo FGM. We received the information on the Friday, and


decided to put the girl on the train on Saturday, so it was a


necessity to be very, very quick to do something. Why is London a


preferred destination for your immigrant communities? In England


you are very respectful about traditions of every community who


lives in your country. In our country it is totally different,


because when migrants arrive in France, they are having the


necessity to integrate into our law, our traditions our everything like


that. But it is hard to see how the French approach, such as routinely


examining the sexual organs of little girls, could transfer easily


to the UK. It is generally agreed that we need to toughen up. But


more along the lines taken by The French argue that their "zero


tolerance" approach towards FGM is working. But many would say it is


too extreme. The British Government favour the Dutch model, which many


would claim it is more respectful towards the ethnic communities. The


difference in the Dutch approach, explains Zara, a spokesperson for


the Somalis here, is that the Government consults with the ethnic


communities. Routine examination of children was rejected, but the


community asked for help to stop the many mutilations which take


place, when a child goes with her parents back to their country of


origin for a holiday. We have something in our hand, because the


pressure from the family back home is very high. They now have these


travel documents, which parents who don't want to mutilate their


daughters can take with them. is a document which is signed by


the minister of health, the minister and it is a Government


document, and it shows them we are helping our families back home


financially, no-one wants their children to go to prison.


The documents are helping, she says, along with anti-FGM publicity. But


many parents who still believe in FGM are moving to Britain. More


than 10,000 Somalis move to the UK in the last few years, because


there is no information, there is no campaign. Although FGM is not


legal in the UK, but still the people are doing it underground. So


even so many people from other European countries they are going


to the UK and they are circumcising their daughters there.


Activists in Holland and France claim that parents who want to


mutilate their daughters are coming to the UK. They ask that we


urgently reinforce the message against FGM on our side of the


channel. Today a petition was presented to


the Home Office Minister, Lynne Featherstone, signed by over 70,000


people, calling on the Government to find and prosecute those


responsible for mutilating women and girls in the UK. She joins us


now. Along with the former model and human rights campaigner, Waris


Dirie, Baroness Ruth Rendell, the French lawyer, Weil-Curiel cushion


and Omer Ahmed from the Council of Somali Organisations. Also here are


Dr Comfort Momoh, the UK expert on FGM, and an audience of students


involved with the charity Integrate Bristol, which campaigns to prevent


FGM in the UK. You had this done when you were five years old, I


just wondered what affect that has had on you? What affect? I'm not


quite understanding what affect it changes your life. Did it?


changes your life forever from that moment on. And nothing quite seemed


the same. Like that little girl just said, physically, mentally,


sexually, spiritually you are bankrupt. You just, you know, not


only that, there are a lot of complication and sickness comes


with it. You have health problems? All the way through, yes. Where was


the pressure to do it? You were a little girl, was it a family thing?


Yes, it was right in my mother's lap, unfortunately. Like you will


hear it, a million times, it was just a normal thing for these


people who practice it, these families. You, as a child, trust in


your own parents, thinking whatever they do they are doing it right, or


they are doing good, you don't really know what is going on.


have heard some people say, my mother did it because she really


loved me, and she thought it was a good thing, and my grandmother had


it, and my great-grand mother s that true? It is a true fact, sad


to say, it is. You can say, I ask you this, I can tell you this, that


I have a little daughter that I adopted from Somali that I wanted


to save from this mutilation two years ago. Two days ago I asked her


how she feels about this, I explained it for two years I teach


her, she looked at me and said I would have done it without no fight,


I would have had to accept it. So that's what it is for the child.


it the women within the Somali community demanding this rather


than the men, is there pressure from men to do it? Fathers?


Historically it would have been some historical support for that


within the male community. But in the UK certainly not. This is


almost entirely driven by women, there isn't demand, it is not


supported by the male population. It is, in fact, always condemned,


it is condemned in the mosques. There is no Koranic justification


for it, it is not a Muslim thing? It is a cultural practice, I think


Imams have been on TV, and in posks, and have stressed that point --


mosques and stressed that point. There is now theological


justification. It is a cultural thing in the Somali community, even


in the UK, even though you say it is completely abhorrent to you?


only is it that, it is important to get it into context, it is


extremely minute proportion of the Somali community that may still


practice this. How do you know that, that is certainly not we are


hearing. We will go to the figures in a empt mo, how do you know it is


a minute proportion, people -- in a moment, how do you know it is a mew


newt proportion? 20 years ago it was much more prevalent, I'm trying


to get across that over a period of time, through education, that has


actually reduced, the prevalence of it has reduced significantly. You


know I wouldn't say how do I know, from being in the community, my


contacts within the community, but also contacts in the health service


suggests the prevalence is reducing significantly. I come to Dr Comfort


Momoh, you treat people after this has happened, I wonder what the


health consequences were, sort of things you see? We see lots of


women with complication, immediate complication such as heamorrhage


that occurs, excessive bleeding. What we see with the pregnant women


that we see, they present with infertility problems, which is


related to infection over a period of time. They have inclusions cysts,


or they have recurring urinry tract infection, as well as vaginal


infection, period pain. And when they get married, to achieve


penetration will take a long time, and they have the emotional and the


psychological problems. There is physical, emotional, psychological,


sexual, basically every problem. Yes. I suppose you can't put a


figure on it, do you see more of it, a lot of it? I see more. I disagree


with Omarn the sense that, we still -- Omar, in the sense that we still


see a significant number of women and girls here in the UK. At my


clinic we see about 400 women and girls with FGM-related problems. To


me this is significant, and that's why we need to have a proper data,


we need more research in terms of getting proper figures here in the


UK. Let me ask you those of you who have helped us so much with the


research here. I wonder what pressure you feel, some young women


in your community feel from parents and others to have this down, you


were very outspoken yesterday, do you hear about a lot of pressure to


have this done? Most girls that are born here will think whatever my


parents say is right. But I guess most of us have grown up with this


mentality now where we're thinking no we are hafrpling our own bodies,


and -- harming our own bodies and we shouldn't be doing. That now


parents are more understanding. They don't have so much pressure


under them compared to going back to Africa, for example, they


probably feel so much more pressure that they have to mutilate their


girls. Here they have far more freedom. They feel that here they


can protect their girls easier. But, saying that, not enough is being


done to protect these girls. The Government has no statistics. Omar


over there says there is a minority that are practising it, and Comfort


Momoh says she sees an increasing number of girls coming into her


clinics. But there are no statistics, this is where the NHS


is going wrong in this country. Anybody else want to come in on


that? Do you hear a lot about it, do people talk about it a lot more?


If you have FGM done you wouldn't really want to talk about it, you


feel it is embarrassing. You are not normal. You think like oh that


person it going to think I'm not normal any more. You keep it to


yourself, you don't tell anyone about it. The doctors, they might


not even know about it. They look for FGM type 3, they don't think


type 1 is that important. What is that, more serious complication


with type 3? Type 3 is where they get all of it done, type 1 is more


common, and type 2 as well. Anybody else there? They don't really talk


about it, especially when they have it done, they are scared that the


doctors, or whoever they talk to about it, they don't really know


what they are doing, they are losing faith in the NHS, or if they


talk to a teacher, like if they confide in a teacher, they are


losing confidence in the teacher, because they don't know what they


are talking about. If the people were educated and know what types


of FGM there are, and what it is, and the complication and


implications of having it done are, then they are more likely to come


out and speak out about having the procedure done. But if people don't


know about it, no-one is going to talk about it, they will be like,


OK, this has happened to me, no-one else has had it done.


Lynne Featherstone, why are there no statistics, why does nobody


collect figures on this? Firstly, let me say, this is an abhorrent


practice, it is an abusive practice. While you say we turn a blind eye,


actually that is not the truth. As soon as we came into Government we


published an action plan a call to end violence against women and


girls, which includes a whole section on FGM, it is a huge issue.


But you don't know how big? don't know how big, but we are


looking at how we may begin to get statistics. Data from the National


Health Service has always been an issue in the sense that if people


come there is an issue about if they think they are going to be


reported, or if anything will be done, they may not present when


they have complication. It is cultural sensitivites as we heard


from some of our French interviewees? The health service


has always said treat someone first, it is the same as if you are


attacked with a knife. If it is a case of paedophilia, you have a


responsibility to the charge, this is abuse? It is safeguarding issue.


They report paedophilia, but not this? They should report it, and


the police should take it seriously, they have a duty of safeguarding,


local councils have a duty. There has not been a single prosecution?


Indeed, that is over 25 years, we have been in Government two years,


and we are taking action. We are moving forward. When you say there


is not a single prosecution, we have heard from the girls and from


others on the film, how difficult it is to get people to come forward.


It would help if the authorities, if they feel they are taken


seriously, if there isn't this cultural sensitivity and you do


something about it? I am doing something about it T I agree, I


think there has been, in general, in the past, an overcautious


approach to reporting, and I'm holding a Round Table actually with


the police and the health authorities in October to discuss


this very part of this issue. have campaigned on this for a long


time, Ruth Rendell, I wonder how big a problem you think it is now,


and why we don't have these statistics. We have statistics on


all kinds of other things? I have campaigned for about 12 years. I


have made many speeches in the House of Lords, instituted many


debates, asked questions, I have asked the Government to set up a


national register, to record everybody who has seen to have FGM,


so it can be noted. I have suggested to the them that all


teachers should undergo a course so that they could spot children who,


they could detect a childlikely to be on a holiday at this time of


year, to be taken out of this country, to the Horn of Africa, on


a kould holiday. To stop T I have - - called holiday. To stop it. I


have alerted the Government to how bad it is. They don't seem to be


listening, Lynne Featherstone says they are listening now? I don't


think they have listened. Just a second. Why haven't they been


listening, and in what way? I wish I knew, I have asked them and even


had promises of setting up various committees and so on to look into


it. In all that time I have never had any response of that kind.


minister is here? In terms, I think you are absolutely right, the


summer holiday are a very dangerous time, and last year the police were


at the airports intervening with families with girls going to those


countries. I have also, last week, had my officials, in Africa,


talking to counsuls from every consular place across Africa to


give them the information and leaflets and guidance that is


practice, to put it up so people coming for visas will have some


information, and know that it is illegal in this country. So we are


taking action. What do you think about that? I really don't


understand what's going on with the Government. What they plan is, and


the truth, the plain truth is they don't give a damn. That is


ridiculous. I was there 15 years ago, in the house of parliament, I


spoke about this, I wrote a book, there is movies, there is nothing


changed. So I don't know what you do. Sorry. I want to talk a little


bit about what is happening in France, why is France different, is


it just different culturally because this is the way you are,


and you are less culturally sensitive to ethnic minorities?


Maybe, I feel the channel is really wide now. Why is it different? We


are very careful of the health of little children. We have asked


doctors to show the parents, the mothers, who come to the family


centres, how a little girl is made. How are their sexual parts, and the


use that the girl will have for this. They do it naturally for the


boys. They check their three pieces, you know, little things. To make


sure it is all there. Make sure, every time. Systematically.


girls, do you think it is an education problem. You also have a


big stick, people can go to prison as we have seen for this, and they


do? It is the doctor's duty to inform the authority, the


prosecutor, if he notices that the child has been hurt, in any way,


beaten black and blue, broken arm, sexually abused, sexually mutilated.


Do parents ever object and say no, we don't want our children to be


exampled? Of course not. They couldn't, it is for the child's


sake. Lynne Featherstone can we do that here? I don't think that would


be acceptable here, I think it is incredibly intrusive. I would not


want my daughter examined annually before the age of six, I wouldn't


want her examined every time she came back from abroad, her


genitalia to be examined. However, we are following, as we saw in the


film, we are following the Dutch route with an equivalent to the


Dutch health passport, which we will be trialing later this year,


which actually does pretty much what you saw in the film, and


actually gives them a piece of paper when they go to countries to


be mutilated, which says, this is illegal, you are breaking the law,


even if you it is done in another country. It is happening here, that


is part of the problem? I was interested in your film, I haven't


heard about this tourism for mutilation before your film tonight.


I would very much like anyone who knows people coming to this country,


for goodness sake, inform us, we don't have this information.


that point about explanations and, you know, you said about who do you


tell, do you talk to a teacher and so on. Would you or anybody you


know object to those kinds of things, would it be OK if it was


done at school, with a doctor, like the one sitting next to you, would


you object? I don't understand why anyone would object. When you are


older you are going to be looked at any way, you will have the smear


test done. What's the problem having it done when you are younger,


just being looked at. It is not like you are being sexually abused


or anything. You are making sure everything is fine and there is no


complication, and there is nothing wrong with you. It is helping you


in the long run, I don't understand why there is an objection to having


someone examine you, especially when it is a qualified doctor.


Providing it is a qualified doctor. What do you think about it? I think


it is, you know, when you are examining a child, you are thinking


about their safety, no the fact that this is too culturally


sensitive, this is a child's life at risk. About the prosecutions,


the Sunday Times did a quick investigation and they quickly


found about four people who are willing to mutilate girls, police


officers could have done that very easily, the Government could have


helped them, they haven't. Do you accept, you are putting everything


on the Government, I will come back to the minister in a second, there


is obviously a responsibility in the community, it might demand some


girls, your age or younger, having to testify about their parents,


about somebody who does this to them, about their grandparents,


that is really difficult? The thing is the Government are not helping


these girls, the community are the perpetrators, with any other form


of abuse, the community wouldn't be asked to deal with the subject.


When it comes to FGM the community have to deal with it, that is wrong.


This is abuse. It is important to recognise when the doctor, for


example, says we are picking up increasing numbers of women coming


to clinics, that is actually a good thing. That shows that the NHS is


working and picking these issues up. It also tells you something about


the statistics. You ask where are the statistics coming from, what


you are actually seeing is today the younger generation, those who


are being, have undergone FGM, back in Somalia, who are now reaching


their 20s and 30s, now facing these complication, who are now


increasingly turning to the NHS. I think some of the points that Lynn


made about the work the Government is doing. The Government has done a


lot of work, I think probably testament to the efforts of the


Baroness. But the CPS have very rigorous guidelines to their


prosecutors in terms of spotting FGM and how to tackle it. They are


so rigorous they haven't tackled a single one. The French prosecutors


who have rigorous guidelines managed to spot 100. With respect


if we take the approach, the idea that you could, and I'm totally


with Lynn on this h the idea that you would some how forcibly, there


is no issue of choice here, take children randomly, whom you are


identifying by their race, we will not say that, we will say we will


identify them by virtue of their risk factors. We are talk about by


their race. It is not forcible? at all. People can object if they


want? They correction but why should they? The doctor is there to


take care of the child. Do you accept there is a degree of


profiling, in other words, you are not saying it to Polish immigrants


or Chinese immigrants, you are looking at certain ethnic groups?


Not at all, we are asking the doctors to examine any child, they


all deserve the same service. has to be every child. Of course.


There aren't going to be so many going to that particular part of


the world, under a certain age. But obviously you cannot select


children according to race. That can't be, but it can be children,


as you were saying, Chinese, whatever it is, all children.


minister, you heard some of the girls saying, it is their personal


views, they wouldn't have a problem with it, they don't see why anybody


would. The bigger issue in the prosecution sense, it is very, very


difficult to get girls to come forward and give evidence. There


has been training for prosecutors, we are actually having a year's


worth of referrals that didn't get to court analysed to see why they


have fallen down. People used to say this about rape, you know,


there was a difficulty about getting people to come forward.


What's the difficulty. It is a matter for the authorities? As I


said, I'm holding this meeting in October, with police and health


authorities, to see how we can move forward on this. But, you know,


prosecution, we prosecute rape, and we prosecute theft, and it hasn't


stopped rape or theft, unfortunately. This is about, in


the end, a huge change, a huge shift. I waent to Ethiopia recently,


on -- I went to Ethiopia recently on a mission to tackle violence


against women and met with them there tackling FGM, very prevalent


in those countries they are using different things to tackle whole


communities and it is much more productive. Do you think there is


an issue within communities, you are showing us by being here and


making the film. I ask, who are you trying to protect, the parents or


the kids. Obviously if the parents have something to hide, they will


say to you, no, we don't want our child to be examined. You want the


child's safety to be first, so you should be thinking about that, not


what the parents say. I absolutely agree. This is a child's life here,


upsetting the parents, you think be about upsetting the parents, and


probably insulting them. If this was any other form of abuse, would


you be thinking about upsetting the parents, you would be thinking


about the child's life first. you think your generation is


different, and you are standing up and saying what you think in a very


clear way, this is a cultural practice that we will not see in


the future do you think? generation is different, we were


educated, they were told, you know, the harmful effects of FGM, some of


our great-grand parents or grandparents, they didn't have


these opportunities. But schools are still not doing enough to


protect these girls. Do you think it is time, though, for British


schools, British people, to assert British values. This is clearly


unacceptable in this country? Absolutely. We mustn't tip toe


around it? There has been far too much sensitivity, we can't tip toe


around it. These girls are the hope for the future. I met with


Integrate Bristol a few weeks ago, they are fiercesome. They made a


film, The Silent Scream, that was your film, truly remarkable. You


yourselves said, did you not, that your whole community turned on you


for actually having the bravery to speak out. I'm trying to indicate


how very difficult it is within the community. Are you encouraged by


what you have heard over here? I was with them, I helped them all


the way I can. And I will. Yes I'm with them, and what they do is what


everybody should do, not just them. Starting with the Government of the


place. Thank you very much. Now, the names


of Hollywood stars, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were read out


alongside those from football, Wayne Rooney and Sven-Goran


Eriksson, joining them on the list was the murdered schoolgirl of


Milly Dowler. The role call, unconnected, was the crime of phone


hacking. Eight people, including the former Downing Street


communications chief, Andy Coulson, and former newspaper chief, Rebekah


Brooks, would be charged in relation to hacking of voicemails.


After months of investigations, the dodgy practices of newspapers and


their links with political leaders will come to trial.


Justice appears in various eulogises, today it came in the


form of Alison Levitt of the Crown Prosecution Service. Tremulous in


tone, yet certain in their purpose. This was the culmination of 19


months of police investigations. The eight who will be charged are,


Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Glenn Mulcaire,


Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson mond, Neville Thurlbeck and James


Weatherup. They will face a total of 19 charges in all.


Once a private investigator, mull mull, others senior editoral


figures at News of the World. All charged with conspiring to hack the


phone of more than 600 people, over a period of six years. The alleged


victims range from Paul McCartney to Angelina Jolie, John Prescott


and David Blunkett, to the murdered Milly Dowler. The ramifications are


enormous, with two of those charged, both former editors, having enjoyed


close relationships with the Prime Minister. Rebekah Brooks was David


Cameron's personal friend, while Andy Coulson was a righthandman.


After resigning from the News of the World, Andy Coulson was


appointed Mr Cameron's communications director. Like so


many others embroiled in this scandal, both Cameron and Coulson


have given evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, which, by coincidence,


listeneded today. Last month at Leveson, David Cameron was asked


why he had employed Andy Coulson. He had left his last job after


resigning because of the things that happened. That was, obviously,


as I have said in my evidence, I was giving him a second chance. The


second reason, it was, there was controversy, is this was a tabloid


editor. Leveson also heard from the man who recommended Coulson to


Cameron, the Chancellor, George Osborne. I would suggest to you


that everything that's happened since, no-one has ever mounted a


serious complaint about the way he was, the Director of Communications


for the Conservative Party, or subsequently for the Government.


This afternoon Andy Coulson emerged from his home to declare his anger


at now facing five criminal charges. I'm obviously extremely


disappointed by the CPS decision today. I will fight these


allegations, when they eventually get to court. But I would like to


say one thing today about the Milly Dowler allegations. Anyone who


knows me, or who has worked with me, will know that I wouldn't, more


importantly, that I didn't, do anything to damage the Milly Dowler


investigation. Rebekah Brooks issued a statement saying she was


innocent and angry. At Leveson, the Prime Minister had been asked about


country suppers with Brooks, and why she had once texted him before


a speech, saying "professionally, we're in this together". We were,


as she put it, friends, but professionally me as leader of the


Conservative Party, her in newspapers, we were going to be


pushing the same political agenda. For the Prime Minister, questions


over his judgment will continue, while his friend face charges which


carry two-year jail terms. Allegra Stratton is here, does this remain


slightly awkward for the Prime Minister? It is awkward, it is


inconvenient. You have a sunny day, a day with the Olympics approaching,


and a day where he had three former prime ministers of all the two


different parties in Downing Street, and yet he's reminded of this


incredibly uncomfortable problem on his doorstep. It is something that


doesn't go away. Today we had an indication from both Rebekah Brooks


and Andy Coulson that they intend to fight the charges incredibly


fiercesomely. And that sense that it will be long, and keep on going.


You have a Prime Minister trying to go into the middle part of this


parliament, with some confidence. Now he knows that's going to have a


very long trial going on in the background. Does it have the


capacity to hurt him, or is it just that kind of irritation factor?


Another thing we learned today suggests it does. The Milly Dowler


case was the reason why he called for a public inquiry, and the Milly


Dowler case has been name checked as a reason why these individuals


are being charged. It is the exact link that has now been made, that


is the problem. It was the Milly Dowler case that turned this into


an issue that people cared about, because it involved normal people,


rather than involving celebrities who are, in some ways normal, but


in some ways not. Let's have a quick look at tomorrow morning's


front pages, the Times has Boris Johnson saying he pays cash for odd


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 40 seconds


jobs, unlike the Government That's all from Newsnight tonight,


we leave you with three-year-old Sophia Dickson from louk borrow,


whose wall climbing skills have gained her a place on YouTube, and


maybe a place in the Olympics. can do it, I can do it, I can do


it! I can do this, I can do it, I can do it!


# I want to be a man, man cub # And stroll right into town


# And be just like the other men # I'm tired of mugging around


Good evening, another hot day in southern areas, with the highest


temperature of the year recorded. More sunshine to come through the


day on Wednesday, across the southern half of the UK. Our


weather front, that has been bringing cloud and rain is going to


fizzle away, by Wednesday afternoon we have a good deal of sunshine


across parts of northern England. The very small risk of a light


shower across the north and Midlands, for most it will be a dry


day. We might get to 31 or 32 degrees across the south-east


corner. Cooler and fresher around the coast, with sea breezes


developing. Moving further inland you will see the heat. Cloud in


Wales, but another fine, dry day on Wednesday. For Northern Ireland


much brighter, sunshine around, temperatures climbing to the mid-


to-high teens, across Scotland, again a good deal of dry, bright


weather, cloudier around the Aberdeen coastline. Temperatures in


Inverness reaching highs of 18 degrees, 19 in Edinburgh, with well


broken cloud giving sunshine. We may start to see the cloud


increasing through the day on Thursday. Keeping the sunshine on


Bristol, where temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday will reach


the high 20, well above average for the time of year. You will see the


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