Friday 19 January 2018

Politicians were keen not to have Mrs Brooks as an enemy

Michael Deacon in London

REBEKAH Brooks was attracting such excitement for several reasons. Not only is she a former editor of 'The Sun' and a former chief executive of News International, she's well known to be a friend of David Cameron. Was she about to land her dear old pal in the soup?

From the start of the questioning she seemed impressively at ease: playful smile, coquettish angling of her head. Whatever else we may think of her, she is plainly charismatic, self-assured and amusing.

No wonder Mr Cameron seems to have been smitten -- at least to judge by his texts. Sometimes, she revealed, he would sign them off with "LOL", thinking it stood for "lots of love". In fact, as she pointed out to him, it means "laugh out loud".

In any case, it appears his love went unrequited. Robert Jay QC asked Mrs Brooks if it was true that Mr Cameron used to text her a dozen times a day. "No," she said. "Thankfully."

Mrs Brooks and Mr Cameron had many meals together, but also, in 2010, Ed Miliband -- proud defender of the civilised world against the dark forces of Rupert Murdoch -- had lunch with her too. That's the way, Mr Miliband. Bring 'em down over a nice chablis.

In the end the most embarrassing moment concerned Jeremy Hunt: can he really have sought the "private" advice of News Corp over what he, and No. 10, should do about phone hacking?

A troubling day for Mr Hunt, and, by extension, Mr Cameron. We saw not only why politicians were keen to have Mrs Brooks as a friend, but why they were keen not to have her as an enemy. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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