Cameron held back dozens of communications with Brooks on legal advice
Downing Street said PM didn’t hand over texts and emails of a social nature
Shadow Home Office minister says PM has been ‘less than straightforward’
Brooks got £7m ‘golden goodbye’ when she resigned over hacking scandal
David Cameron held back dozens of communications between himself and Rebekah Brooks from the Leveson Inquiry on legal advice, it emerged yesterday.
Downing Street confirmed that the Prime Minister did not hand over the content of texts and emails of a social nature with the former News of the World editor since they did not fall within Lord Justice Leveson’s remit.
Shadow Home Office minister Chris Bryant accused Mr Cameron of being ‘less than straightforward’ in his handling of the affair.
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Correspondents: Emails between Rebekah Brooks, former Chief Executive of News International, and Prime Minister David Cameron, right, are believed to have been withheld from the Leveson Inquiry
In court: Rebekah Brooks, the former head of News International, faces charges for perverting the course of justice in relation to phone hacking
But sources close to the judge confirmed he was content with the material passed to his inquiry.
Phone hacking victim: Labour MP Chris Bryant has called for all emails to be released
A series of texts between the PM and Mrs Brooks were revealed to the inquiry by News International, parent company of the Sun and News of the World. The Leveson Inquiry only permitted part of one to be released to the public on the grounds that the others were not relevant to the terms of the inquiry.
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It revealed that Mrs Brooks, who is now facing trial for perverting the course of justice, had told Mr Cameron ‘professionally we’re definitely in this together’. It has now emerged that Mr Cameron took advice from government lawyers about which of his own texts and emails should be disclosed and failed to pass on those of a social nature.
The communications could have embarrassed the Prime Minister by exposing the full extent of his relations with the Murdoch empire and the extent to which he socialised with Mrs Brooks.
She had already claimed the pair were in contact twice a week and that Mr Cameron signed off messages with LOL, thinking it meant ‘lots of love’ rather than ‘laugh out loud’.
The emails and texts are also thought to include contacts between Mr Cameron and Andy Coulson, another ex-News of the World editor.
Downing Street sources stressed that the Leveson Inquiry had only requested the release of communications between Mr Cameron and Mrs Brooks that were ‘relevant’. A No 10 spokesman said: ‘All the material the inquiry asked for was given to them.’
Video: Chris Bryant MP quizzes the PM on emails…
Chris Bryant quizzes PM on Leveson emails
REBEKAH BROOKS’ £7MILLION ‘GOLDEN GOODBYE’ FOR RESIGNATION
Rebekah Brooks was awarded a £7million pay-off when she resigned over the phone hacking scandal, it has emerged.
The ‘golden goodbye’ award is thought to consist of cash and pension payments as well as use of a chauffeur-driven car and an allowance for legal fees.
Ms Brooks, who headed Australian tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspaper arm, quit in disgrace last July.
Ms Brooks, from Churchill in Oxfordshire, is accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice over allegations that she tried to conceal information from police investigating phone hacking and claims of corrupt payments to public officials at The Sun and the News of the World.
The trial is set to take place next September.
News of the payoff also emerged on the eve of yesterday’s annual general meeting of News Corp, News International’s parent group.
The award for Brooks – much higher than the £1.7m cash pay-out previously reported – is also set to rile investors.
It is understood Ms Brooks’ pay off includes a ‘claw back’ clause – which allows News International to recover some of Ms Brooks’ pay in certain circumstances.