David Cameron gets grilled
Posted on 12:40pm Thursday 14th Jun 2012
David Cameron has told the Leveson Inquiry this morning that the relationship between the press and the public has been “too close for too long” but denied ever “trading or offering a position on policy” in return for media support. Whilst facing intense questions about his relationship with the Murdoch media empire, Cameron denied any “overt or covert” deals for the support of a newspaper.
The inquiry heard that while in opposition Mr Cameron met News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch 10 times, his son James Murdoch 15 times and Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of The Sun and later News International chief executive, 19 times. However, he admits that this might not over all of his interactions because his official diary did not include meetings on weekends.
The Tory leader was asked about his 2008 visit to the Greek island Santorini, with Matthew Freud, Rebekah Brooks and the Murdochs where he accepted free flights to hold private talks with Rupert Murdoch on his luxury yacht. He had delayed his family holiday to Turkey to attend and later attended a dinner party with him.
Cameron said: “My memory was that this was drinks, then a dinner, but the dinner was everyone that was there... Rupert Murdoch was there, yes. From my point of view it was just an opportunity to get to know Rupert Murdoch better. Obviously I was trying to win the support of his newspapers... it was a long way to go and all that, but it just seemed a good opportunity.”