May 22 2013 Latest news:
Friday, May 11, 2012
The inquiry into press ethics set up by Prime Minister David Cameron may come back to embarrass him today when former Sun and News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks gives evidence.
Mrs Brooks, who is said to have been texted by Mr Cameron telling her to “keep her head up” after she resigned from News International in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal last July, will appear before the Leveson Inquiry, where she is expected to lift the lid on her close relationship with the PM.
It has been claimed that the 43-year-old former editor sent Mr Cameron more than 12 text messages a day.
There has speculation the Leveson Inquiry could release emails and text messages sent between Mr Cameron and the former News International chief executive.
Mrs Brooks and racehorse trainer husband Charlie are key members of the influential Chipping Norton set, which also includes Mr Cameron and his wife Samantha, Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, and Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth and her PR guru husband Matthew Freud.
The inquiry has already heard Mrs Brooks regularly met Mr Cameron and other top politicians along with Rupert and James Murdoch.
Mrs Brooks’s wedding in 2009 was attended by Mr Cameron and former prime minister Gordon Brown, and in March Mr Cameron was forced to admit that he rode a retired police horse loaned to Mrs Brooks by Scotland Yard from 2008 to 2010.
According to Daily Telegraph columnist Peter Oborne, Mrs Brooks has kept all the texts she received from the Prime Minister.
Mrs Brooks has twice been arrested by Scotland Yard detectives investigating allegations of phone hacking, corrupt payments to public officials, and an attempt to pervert the course of justice. She was bailed and has not been charged.
She will not be questioned about anything that could prejudice the continuing police investigation into phone hacking or any potential future trials.
Mr Cameron set up the Leveson Inquiry in response to revelations that the now-defunct News of the World hacked murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s phone after she disappeared in 2002.
The first part of the inquiry, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, is looking at the culture, practices and ethics of the press in general and is due to produce a report by October.