Nicholas Leonard: Phone hacking scandal could spell disaster for press freedom
Published 11/07/2011 | 05:00
THE phone hacking scandal is by far the most damaging blow to the reputation of British Prime Minister David Cameron since he became leader of the Conservative Party back in December 2005.
Propelled by a lethal mix of arrogance and over-confidence, Cameron insisted on bringing the former editor of the 'News of the World', Andy Coulson, into Downing Street as his spindoctor against the advice of coalition partner Nick Clegg who rightly feared that numerous unsavoury skeletons were waiting to tumble out of the capacious media cupboard labelled 'Rupert Murdoch's Secrets'.
Like Tony Blair, Cameron desperately wanted to schmooze Murdoch in order to ensure favourable coverage in some of the country's biggest selling newspapers. Cameron was also embroiled in a social network of personal friendships which included the controversial figure of Rebekah Brooks, the most important executive in Murdoch's UK operations.