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 15:04:47 in BusinessLloyds Banking Group has been fined £218m for "serious misconduct" over some key interest rates set in London.
At 14:58:34 in HeadlinesGaza is in a "critical condition" and violence there must stop "in the name of humanity", the UN secretary general says.
At 14:56:38 in WalesA retired North Wales Police custody sergeant is facing jail after admitting misconduct in public office.
At 14:56:13 in SportLeague One side Gillingham have signed Wolves defender Kortney Hause on a youth loan deal.
At 14:54:35 in EnglandThe Environment Agency is investigating what caused the death of about 250 fish in Oxfordshire.
At 14:53:54 in EntertainmentThe renowned architect Sir Richard MacCormac has died aged 75 after a long illness.
At 14:53:01 in WorldThe two flight data recorders from a passenger jet that crashed in Mali last week, killing all 118 aboard, have arrived in France.
At 14:53:01 in SportGuernsey's 400m record-holder Tom Druce is considering quitting athletics after a disappointing performance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
At 14:52:43 in SportNorthern Ireland's Michael Conlan beat Shiva Thapa from India on a unanimous decision to secure a quarter-final place in the bantamweight division.
At 14:51:10 in SportSouth Africa have regained top spot in the world Test rankings after winning their series in Sri Lanka.
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 28th Jul 2014]
News In Other Categories
An independent Scotland would consider introducing a minimum wage that would rise in line with the cost of living, the SNP has said.
The renowned architect Sir Richard MacCormac has died aged 75 after a long illness.
Lloyds Banking Group has been fined £218m for "serious misconduct" over some key interest rates set in London.
The Environment Agency is investigating what caused the death of about 250 fish in Oxfordshire.
A retired North Wales Police custody sergeant is facing jail after admitting misconduct in public office.
A drug linked to the deaths of 20 people is "principally a Northern Ireland problem", a coroner has said.