Leveson Inquiry: Cameron 'briefed' over Murdoch meeting
Published: 17th May 2012 19:57:31
News International executives briefed David Cameron on "what to say and how to say it" before he first met Rupert Murdoch, the Leveson Inquiry has heard.
But the Daily Telegraph's Peter Oborne said an unnamed NI employee was shocked when Mr Cameron "wouldn't play ball".
"I thought good on him," Mr Oborne told the media ethics inquiry in London.
He said Mr Cameron's strategy in his early days as Conservative leader was to treat the Murdochs and their staff no different to anyone else.
Mr Oborne, the author of several books on politics and the media, told the inquiry that national newspapers had repeatedly "looked the other way".
The Telegraph's chief political commentator said: "In the aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan, many British newspapers remained silent on the issue of complicity in torture, British complicity in torture."
He added: "There was pretty well an omerta in Fleet Street surrounding the very strong evidence about phone hacking."
Mr Oborne said political reporting had become a case of private deals between journalists and politicians.
He said: "I saw again and again journalists and politicians entering into a conspiracy against the readers.
"People who tried to report objectively and fairly were frozen out, were bullied, victimised, not given information.
"People who were part of the inner circle and developed social connections with the powerful political people were favoured."
Mr Oborne told the inquiry that the MPs expenses "scam" was deliberately ignored by a negligent media despite the practices going on for years.
News International receptions at annual party conferences were extraordinary power events attended by the entire cabinet, he added.
Later at the inquiry on Thursday, Sir Harold Evans, editor of the Sunday Times from 1967 to 1981, described Rupert Murdoch as "evil incarnate".
He said Mr Murdoch's bid in 1981 to take over the Sunday Times was favoured because "he was the man to take on the unions".
Sir Harold told the inquiry how he feared that Mr Murdoch's entrance into British newspapers would have a detrimental effect on tabloid journalism.
He described how they clashed over the newspaper's position on Margaret Thatcher's economic policies.
He said: "Mr Murdoch was constantly sending for my staff without telling me and telling them what the paper should be."
Sir Harold said he eventually resigned because he was "absolutely disgusted, dismayed and demoralised by living in a vindictive, punitive atmosphere".
The third module of the Leveson Inquiry is focusing on the relationship between the press and prominent politicians as part of its examination of the ethics, culture and practices of the UK's newspapers.
At 14:55:47 in WalesTwo men have been seriously injured in a crash involving a motorcycle and a truck towing a boat in Ceredigion.
At 14:46:14 in EnglandPlans for further oil and gas exploration at Balcombe have been recommended for approval.
At 14:29:13 in SportSaturday - 15:00 BST kick-off
At 14:28:10 in EnglandAn elderly man has died in hospital after being rescued from a bedroom in a blazing house in south London.
At 14:25:03 in EnglandA Devon farm which featured in the children's book War Horse has opened a museum dedicated to the story.
At 14:24:50 in WorldThe BBC has obtained security camera footage that shows men in balaclavas distributing threatening anti-Semitic leaflets in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk. The leaflets bore the stamp of pro-Russian separatists the People's Republic of Donetsk, but the separatists have declared them a hoax.
At 14:23:29 in SportProspective Hearts owner Ann Budge says sorting out red tape over small shareholdings will delay by weeks the process of exiting administration.
At 14:13:48 in EnglandThe first official convention celebrating the life and legacy of Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson is taking place in London.
At 14:10:37 in EnglandA four-year project to clean up war memorials across Surrey has begun.
At 14:00:53 in EnglandA 24-year-old man fatally stabbed at a flat in Essex had recently become a father for the first time, his family has said.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Leveson Inquiry: Cameron 'briefed' over Murdoch meeting [Online] (Updated 17th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1429330/Leveson-Inquiry-Cameron-briefed-over-Murdoch-meeting [Accessed 19th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Taxpayers' personal data could be shared with private firms under plans drawn up by Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Two men have been seriously injured in a crash involving a motorcycle and a truck towing a boat in Ceredigion.
Former BBC presenter Derek Cooper, who founded long-running radio show The Food Programme, has died aged 88.
Saturday - 15:00 BST kick-off
The BBC has obtained security camera footage that shows men in balaclavas distributing threatening anti-Semitic leaflets in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk. The leaflets bore the stamp of pro-Russian separatists the People's Republic of Donetsk, but the separatists have declared them a hoax.
Police are investigating the suspicious death of a woman in East Ayrshire.