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July 20 - 26 2011
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 30-32
RAF pilots cleared A ‘dreadful wrong’ is righted after nearly two decades
EC apology for fishing policy Disastrous rules mean children may never see a fish on a plate
WORLD NEWS P16-17
Famine relief The forgotten people of the great Horn of Africa disaster
£70m mansion no one wants Britain’s most expensive house is still for sale after six years
11 7 15 18 19 49 4 9 13 15 18 40
Bonus Ball 25
Bonus Ball 30
There was one winner of Saturday’s £5.9m jackpot but no one won Wednesday’s £1.8m prize
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Phone hacking scandal Keep tabs on the latest developments telegraph.co.uk/news
By Andrew Porter DAVID CAMERON was facing fresh questions about his judgment last Friday night as Downing Street disclosed that Andy Coulson stayed with the Prime Minister at Chequers two months after he had resigned from No10 because of the News of the World hacking scandal.
Downing Street admitted that Mr Cameron had invited Mr Coulson for a “thank-you lunch” on the last weekend in March. The former editor of the newspaper resigned as the Prime Minister’s head of communications in January, when the hacking scandal began to escalate.
Mr Coulson’s overnight stay at the Prime Minister’s Buckinghamshire retreat came just 10 days before two senior News of the World executives from Mr Coulson’s time at the paper were arrested as part of Operation Weeting, the new police investigation into phone hacking which was launched in January.
Mr Coulson was arrested this month by police investigating allegations of phone hacking and police bribery during his time as editor. Disclosure of the meeting will add to the pressure on Mr Cameron, who has struggled to escape criticism over his backing of Mr Coulson, whom he employed despite a series of warnings that the phone hacking scandal could embarrass him.
Documents released by No10 last Friday night also expose how, since taking
David Cameron with Rebekah Brooks, who resigned last Friday; and Andy Coulson, his former director of communications office, Mr Cameron has had personal meetings with both Rupert Murdoch and his son James, as well as other executives from News International.
Mr Cameron said last Wednesday that if Mr Coulson had lied to him over his involvement in phone hacking, then “it would be a matter of deep regret and it would be a matter for a criminal prosecution”.
Last Friday night Downing Street sources tried to explain why Mr Coulson had been a guest at Chequers.
The source said: “The Prime Minister made clear Mr Coulson was and is a friend and that is why he was invited. It was to say thanks for the work he had done for us.”
But Labour again questioned Mr Cameron’s judgment for continuing to stay close to Mr Coulson despite worrying questions about his time as a News International editor.
Ivan Lewis MP, the shadow culture secretary, said: “This is yet more evidence of an extraordinary lack of judgment by David Cameron. He hosted Andy Coulson at Chequers after, in the Prime
Minister’s own words, Mr Coulson’s second chance hadn’t worked out.”
The list published by Downing Street disclosed that Rupert Murdoch was the first media figure Mr Cameron met after he became Prime Minister in May last year. Mrs Brooks was the first newspaper executive to visit Chequers, in June 2010.
She was back at Chequers two months later, in August 2010. Then in December she and James Murdoch, News International’s chairman, met Mr Cameron for what was described as a “social” meeting. Mr Murdoch had also met him at Chequers in November 2010. There is also official confirmation that over Christmas last year Mr Cameron met Mrs Brooks, again socially.
The meetings, and their frequency, will again raise questions about Mr Cameron’s judgment. Late last year the Government was considering News Corporation’s bid for BSkyB and whether it should be referred to the Competition Commission.
Matthew d’Ancona: Page 20
By Gordon Rayner THE turmoil at News International prompted intense speculation last week that Rupert Murdoch may be about to carry out a corporate reshuffle within his own family.
Until last Friday, the Murdochs had presented a united front in their support for Rebekah Brooks and their public statements about the crisis. But the first clear indications of a rift in the family came when it was reported that Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth had told friends that Mrs Brooks had “f----- the company”.
She denied making the comment, but her anger at Mrs Brooks’s handling of the scandal has been credited by industry insiders as the real reason the News International chief executive resigned last Friday. Perhaps more importantly, by distancing herself from Mrs Brooks, Miss Murdoch, who is in line to be given a seat on the board of News Corp, could also be putting herself in a strong position to replace her brother James as chairman of News International.
Shareholders in News Corp have already hinted they might push for James Murdoch’s removal if he is tainted by the scandal. Prince al-Waleed bin Talal of the Saudi royal family, who is the second-largest shareholder in News Corp, said he would not deal with “a company that has a lady or a man that has any sliver of doubts on his or her integrity”.
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that the Metropolitan Police and the Metropolitan Police Authority do everything possible to ensure the investigations into phone hacking and alleged police corruption proceed with all speed, with full public confidence and with all the necessary leadership and resources to bring them to an effective conclusion.”
Labour attempted to put more pressure on Mr Cameron over the phone hacking scandal.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said: “It is striking that Sir Paul has taken responsibility and answered questions about the appointment of the deputy editor of the News of the World whereas the Prime Minister still refuses to recognise his misjudgment and answer questions on the appointment of the editor of the News of the World at the time of the initial phone hacking investigation.”
Sir Paul’s decision will put added pressure on John Yates, the Assistant Commissioner, who has been widely criticised for his failure to reopen the phone hacking investigation.
Mr Wallis’s connection with Sir Paul first emerged last Thursday.
On Sunday there was further embarrassment when a Sunday newspaper disclosed that Sir Paul had accepted up to £12,000 in luxury hospitality from Champneys, one of country’s leading health spas, when he was recovering from an operation. Sir Paul and his wife had spent 20 nights with full board at the spa.
The revelation was embarrassing because the spa’s PR representative was Mr Wallis.
In a 15-minute statement, broadcast live from the press room in New Scotland Yard, Sir Paul insisted there was “no impropriety” in relation to his use of the spa. He said he did it so he could return to running the Met full time.
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answer MPs’ questions, citing the police investigation. A spokesman for Mrs Brooks said: “It has many implications for Tuesday. Over the next 24 to 36 hours her lawyers will have discussions with the committee to see if it will still be appropriate [to attend]. She certainly wants to.”
The spokesman added: “She had been told as early as a week ago that she wasn’t on the radar. It was quite a surprise to her on her arrival [at the police station] to be arrested. She wasn’t anticipating that she was going to be arrested.”
Chris Bryant, the Labour MP who led a recent House of Commons debate on phone hacking, told Sky News: “It is unusual to arrest by appointment on a Sunday and that just makes me wonder whether this is some ruse to avoid answering questions properly … in the Commons committee.”
The arrest of Mrs Brooks, who has worked for the British arm of the Murdoch empire for more than 20 years, raises the possibility that James Murdoch could also be required to meet police.
Detectives may want to ask Mr Murdoch, the chairman of News International and the son of Rupert, about the large sums he paid out to public figures whose telephones were hacked. In a recent statement he admitted the payments and said that News International had unwittingly misled Parliament.
It emerged on Sunday that News International could face an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office over such payments.
Tom Watson, a Labour member of the culture, media and sport committee, has written to Richard Alderman, the director of the SFO. Mr Watson wants the police to investigate possible breaches of Company Law.