Sunday 25 February 2018

Brooks told Cameron: 'We're in this together'

Rowena Mason in London

The closeness of British Prime Minister David Cameron's links to Rupert Murdoch's media empire were further exposed yesterday when it was revealed Rebekah Brooks told him they were "definitely in this together".

Mrs Brooks sent a personal text to Mr Cameron suggesting a "country supper" on the eve of a crucial Conservative Party speech.

Mrs Brooks, former CEO of Murdoch's News International, told Mr Cameron she was "rooting" for him in both a personal and professional sense ahead of his party conference speech in the autumn of 2009.

She also echoed the campaign slogan of US President Barack Obama by telling him "Yes, he Cam!".

Mr Cameron has come under pressure over his links with Mrs Brooks, an ex-editor of the 'News of the World' and 'The Sun', since it emerged that phone-hacking was widespread at the 'News of the World'. She is due to stand trial on charges of perverting the course of justice in relation to the scandal.

Relationship

The text message disclosed to the Leveson Inquiry yesterday will be seen as further evidence Mr Cameron had a very close relationship with Mrs Brooks.

The message also conveys Mrs Brooks's disappointment that Mr Cameron did not turn up to a party organised by 'The Times' newspaper -- also owned by News International.

She suggests a "country supper" to talk about the issue, as their families live near to each other in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.

The first line of the message was redacted because it was deemed "not relevant".

It goes on to read: "But seriously I do understand about the 'Times'. Let's discuss over country supper soon. On the party it was because I had asked a number of NI (News International) to Manchester post endorsement and they were disappointed not to see you. But as always Sam was wonderful and I thought OEs (Old Etonians) were charm personified!

"I am so rooting for you too not just as a personal friend but professionally we're definitely in this together! Speech of your life? Yes he Cam!"

Mr Cameron told how he got to know Mrs Brooks because of "her role in the media, my role in politics". It got "stronger" when she married Charlie Brooks, who was a neighbour of Mr Cameron.

He said they talked to each other on the phone "quite a bit" but could not remember how often they saw each other.

"I don't think every weekend, I don't think most weekends but it would depend," he said. "I was definitely seeing her more often because of my friendship with Charlie as a neighbour. We play tennis together and all sorts of other things."

Mr Cameron said his party had never made secret deals on a "nod and a wink" with Rupert Murdoch but admitted he tried to win support from Mr Murdoch's newspapers during at least 10 meetings before an election.

But he said it was "nonsense" that the Tories traded policy in return for favourable coverage. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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