REBEKAH BROOKS GAVE PM NOSH
Details of intimate dinner date revealed by ex News International boss
DAVID Cameron enjoyed a tasty treat when flame-haired former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks gave him a slap-up feed.
And making up the threesome at her posh home was James Murdoch, the former News International chairman told the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.
Mr Murdoch said he and the PM discussed News Corp’s BSKYB bid at a dinner held at the then CEO Rebekah Brook’s gaff.
He was questioned by counsel for the inquiry Robert Jay QC about his contact with politicians before and during News Corp’s bid for BSKYB – which was abandoned in July 2011 after the hacking scandal surfaced.
Mr Murdoch said he was “alive to the risk” that politics might influence his company’s position, but added: “We rested on the soundness of the legal case.”
Mr Murdoch said he discussed the BSKYB bid with Mr Cameron at the home of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks on Dec 23, 2010 – seven months after he became Prime Minister.
The dinner was held two days after Business Secretary Vince Cable was stripped of his responsibility for overseeing the BSKYB bid, after he’d been secretly recorded saying he had “declared war” on Rupert Murdoch.
Mr Murdoch said he spoke briefly to the PM about the removal of Mr Cable, saying it was a “tiny conversation” and not a discussion.
He denied the purpose of the meetings with Mr Cameron was partly to find out where he stood on issues which would directly affect Mr Murdoch’s companies, such as TV and press regulation.
He said: “They were discussions on a broad range of subjects – from foreign policy to other things.”
Asked whether he was friends with Chancellor George Osborne, he said: “We have been friendly. I wouldn’t say he was a close friend.”
He added he had been to the chancellor’s grace-and-favour home Dorneywood once and had had one discussion with Mr Osborne about the BSKYB bid.
Mr Murdoch’s father, News Corporation head Rupert Murdoch, will appear before the inquiry today and Thursday.
THREESOME: James Murdoch ( left) met with Cameron ( right) and Brooks at her swanky gaff