The Leveson Inquiry into media standards and ethics in the UK, London, June 14, 2012
David Cameron has appeared before the Leveson Inquiry. He has been quizzed over his ties to Andy Coulson his former Communication Chief. Coulson was a former editor of the News of the World when appointed to the post at Number 10 Downing Street.
Many had doubts over the prudence of Cameron hiring Coulson. David Cameron claimed today that he thought long and hard over appointing Andy Coulson. However in spite of advice to the contrary he did appoint him. Once appointed the writing was on the wall. In the end Coulson resigned and Cameron escaped scandal by the skin of his teeth.
Dogged by so many bad decisions Cameron has been dubbed Dodgy Dave by many in the media. However to date he has always managed to bounce back relatively unscathed.
Perhaps one relevant point is that Coulson resigned from the NotW after a conviction for, "hacking into the voice mail messages of royal aides." Put that on your CV and you are guaranteed you will never hear from a prospective employer again. In the case of Coulson this fact was known to the PM, then the leader of the opposition, yet he hired said man. Today David Cameron said he was giving Andy Coulson "a second chance". How noble of him. Reformed villains please note.
The Prime Minster also faced questions regarding his relationship with Rebekah Brooks, also previously an employee of the Murdoch Empire. Ms Brooks is currently on bail facing perjury allegations. It seems that the PM has been careless about who he assesses as friends. If not, one would assume that he and these people are all much of a muchness.
You can follow the Leveson Inquiry Here
Earlier this week former Labour PM Gordon Brown appeared at this inquiry. He claimed that the Tories and News International brokered a deal. Brown maintained that, "The Tories agreed to cut funding for the BBC and media regulator Ofcom in return for political support from News International"
Today Cameron dismissed those claims as nonsense. However as the BBC News reported from the inquiry, "Ex-News International executive Rebekah Brooks told the PM she was "rooting for him" both professionally and personally after the Sun paper switched loyalty to his party, the Leveson Inquiry heard."
There is no escaping that Rupert Murdoch and associates had influence in UK politics. Just how much is up for debate. Hopefully the Leveson Inquiry will discover how much. Can Dodgy Dave survive once more?