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David Cameron's five secret meetings with Rupert Murdoch

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David Cameron's five secret meetings with Rupert Murdoch

Post by sharonl on 25.04.12 22:54

David Cameron's five secret meetings with Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch on Wednesday night disclosed that he had met the Prime Minister on at least five more occasions than David Cameron has previously admitted.

Mr Murdoch, 81, was cross-examined on Wednesday over his meetings with prime ministers stretching back decades Photo: Reuters

By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent

9:40PM BST 25 Apr 2012

The chairman and chief executive of News Corporation provided details of diary entries to the Leveson Inquiry which showed that the two men had met on at least seven occasions since Mr Cameron became Prime Minister.

Downing Street has previously acknowledged only that the Prime Minister had met the media tycoon twice since May 2010 and the contents of Mr Murdoch’s diary will add to concerns about Mr Cameron’s relationship with News Corporation executives.

In the wake of the phone hacking scandal, the Prime Minister published details of his meetings with media executives and editors. In the House of Commons, he pledged to MPs that “every contact” had been made public.

On Wednesday night it emerged that only one-to-one or “substantial” meetings were disclosed officially, whereas Mr Murdoch recorded meetings at social dinners and other events. Mr Cameron had previously been reluctant to disclose details of his interactions with people connected to the Murdoch empire, including the recent admission that he had ridden a horse owned by Rebekah Brooks, one of Mr Murdoch’s former key executives.

The inconsistencies between the recollections of the two men regarding their meetings are expected to form a key part of Mr Cameron’s cross examination at the inquiry when he appears within the next two months.

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Mr Murdoch, 81, was cross-examined on Wednesday over his meetings with prime ministers stretching back decades. Much of the questioning was focused on his relationship with Baroness Thatcher and Tony Blair and the tense interactions with Gordon Brown in his final months as prime minister.

The News Corporation chief will also appear today when he is expected to be questioned in more detail about his relationship with the current administration and the collapse of the News of the World.

Details of his diary were released by the inquiry and highlighted by a Labour MP in Parliament.

The seven recorded meetings with Mr Cameron included two encounters in May 2010, two in July 2010, one in March 2011 and two in June 2011. There was also a “proposed” meeting in July 2010 and a “possible” breakfast in June 2011, which may have taken place.

Mr Cameron on Wednesday admitted “we all did too much cosying up to Rupert Murdoch”. But a Downing Street spokesman denied the meetings listed by Rupert Murdoch took place. “We are confident the list we published is correct,” he said.

Sources said the situation might be explained by different definitions of what constitutes a meeting.

“There’s a difference between having a meeting and being in the same room as someone,” one person close to Mr Cameron said.

Chris Bryant, the Labour MP, officially raised the issue with the Speaker of the Commons, asking whether the Prime Minister had “misled” MPs.

Downing Street releases details of when meetings are held with media executives, but does not provide information about what was discussed. Mr Cameron has repeatedly stressed he has not had “inappropriate discussions” with Mr Murdoch or other executives.

On Tuesday, James Murdoch, Mr Murdoch’s son, disclosed that he had discussed details of News Corporation’s proposed takeover of BSkyB with the Prime Minister during a private dinner shortly before Christmas 2010. At the time, the Government was charged with deciding whether the takeover could proceed.

Mr Cameron had promised to be more open about the Conservative Party’s links to the Murdoch family. Last year, he claimed his party “has set out all its contacts, all its meetings and everything it did — in stark contrast to the Labour Party”.

Addressing MPs, he promised all his meetings with Mr Murdoch would be disclosed whether they were “private or official”.

Rupert Murdoch said that Mr Cameron had gone “out of his way to impress” him when the Prime Minister interrupted a family holiday to fly by private jet for a meeting on a yacht.

Mr Murdoch spoke of numerous meetings with the Prime Minister, including family picnics and tea at Number 10, as well as the encounter on his daughter’s yacht on the Greek island of Santorini.

However, he insisted he had never asked favours of the Prime Minister, claiming the contact was “all part of the democratic process”.

The media tycoon said his initial impression of Mr Cameron was that he appeared a “good family man” and showed “kindness to children”.

Asked whether he thought the Prime Minister was “lightweight” during their early encounters, Mr Murdoch said: “No. Not then, certainly.”

He also revealed how Mr Cameron preferred for him to leave any Downing Street meetings via the backdoor, because they “don’t want me photographed going out the front door”. “I don’t get invited to dinner at Downing Street,” he added.

Mr Murdoch described his relationship with Mr Cameron in cooler terms than his “personal connection” with Gordon Brown, “admiration” for Margaret Thatcher and liking for the “attractive” Alex Salmond.

Downing Street aides are growing increasingly alarmed about disclosures from the Leveson Inquiry that are expected to continue for at least another six weeks. “We are aware that we have created a ------- great monster here,” said one senior government source.

"WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER" - Rebekah Brooks to David Cameron

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Re: David Cameron's five secret meetings with Rupert Murdoch

Post by aiyoyo on 26.04.12 6:54

Oh dear, PM DC exposed as liar!

Conversational topics : likely restricted to skyb take over, and the mccanns?

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Re: David Cameron's five secret meetings with Rupert Murdoch

Post by tigger on 26.04.12 7:46

@aiyoyo wrote:Oh dear, PM DC exposed as liar!

Conversational topics : likely restricted to skyb take over, and the mccanns?

I'd love to know how much the circulation of newspapers goes up when there's a peak in McCann news.
Newspapers were losing as much as 14% in turnover around 2007. Manna from heaven doesn't begin to described the McCann affair.

Can't really blame DC, TB,GB et all did the same thing. All of them just mid level managers compared to the powers of the media, finance and industry.

Don't forget that Kennedy got elected with the help of the Mafia. He played false, once elected, his brother was going to dismantle the Mafia. We all know how that worked out.

Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate.

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