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Friday, 11 May 2012

David Cameron sent commiserations to Rebekah Brooks after she resigned as News International chief executive over the phone hacking scandal


11:18 |

David Cameron sent commiserations to Rebekah Brooks after she resigned as News International chief executive over the phone hacking scandal, the Leveson Inquiry has heard. Ms Brooks said the indirect messages from the Prime Minister were "along the lines" of "keep your head up" and had also expressed regret that he could not be more loyal in public. She also received sympathetic messages from other senior figures in 10 and 11 Downing Street, the Home Office, the Foreign Office and some Labour politicians, including Tony Blair. The glimpse of Ms Brooks's network of high-powered friends and contacts came as she took to the witness box, despite being under investigation by police. Ms Brooks said she only had access to around six weeks of texts and emails from her time as NI chief executive, from the beginning of June to July 17 last year. Only one of those emails was relevant to the inquiry, according to her evidence. One of the text messages had been from Mr Cameron, but the content was compressed and unreadable, she said. Robert Jay QC, counsel for the inquiry, asked Ms Brooks about reports that she had received sympathetic messages after her resignation last July. "I had some indirect messages from some politicians but nothing direct," she replied. "A variety - some Tories, a couple of Labour politicians. Very few Labour politicians. I received some indirect messages from Number 10, Number 11, the Home Office, the Foreign Office..." She said Tony Blair had been among them but Gordon Brown had not. "He was probably getting the bunting out," she added, provoking laughter in the courtroom. Questioned on whether reports were correct that Mr Cameron's message had urged her to "keep your head up", Ms Brooks responded: "Along those lines." Pressed on whether the premier had also conveyed regret that political circumstances meant he could not be more "loyal", Ms Brooks replied: "Similar, but very indirect."


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