NEWS
08/07/2011 11:13 BST | Updated 07/09/2011 06:12 BST

Ed Miliband: I Should Have Spoken Out When I Met Rupert Murdoch

Ed Miliband has admitted he was too slow to speak out on hacking, and should have confronted Rupert Murdoch when he met him at a News International party two weeks ago.

Speaking hours after he condemned the hacking of hundreds of people's voicemails by investigators working for News International, Ed Miliband urged the Government to refer the company's BSkyB bid to the Competition Commission.

"I had a couple of minutes with Rupert Murdoch, but I'm willing to say completely I should have spoken out on these issues earlier all politicians should have spoken out on these issues earlier. That's completely right", the Labour leader told the BBC.

He added: "I have to say also though, the idea that I have a sweetheart relationship with News International isn't right, given some of the things their newspapers have said about me. The question for the future is this: who can lead the change we need in relation to our press?"

Mr Miliband this afternoon also said David Cameron should have admitted it was a mistake to hire Andy Coulson.

"David Cameron doesn't get it. If we are to rebuild trust in our press, we have to show leadership on all the key issues. That includes BSkyB and the question of Andy Coulson. I thought it was extraordinary he didn't say he had made a mistake, because he clearly made a terrible mistake in hiring Andy Coulson.

"Specific information [about Andy Coulson] was passed to David Cameron before the general election of the dangers of making him his communications director. He must answer the questions about what he knew.

"My information is that the Guardian went to a senior member of his staff with clear evidence of some the practices Andy Coulson had been involved in, as well as the practices of someone called Jonathan Rees, who was a convicted criminal and had been engaged in practices relating to paying the police on behalf of various newspapers", he told Sky News.

The comments came after David Cameron's press conference when he said he would "look into" allegations that someone in his office was warned about his former spin chief Andy Coulson.