David Cameron Refuses To Deny Talks With News International Over BSkyB Deal

Cameron Refuses To Deny Talks With News International Over BSkyB Bid

David Cameron has refused to deny that he discussed News Corp’s BSkyB takeover bid with top executives at News International but insists he did not break the ministerial code.

After being pressed by MPs during a parliamentary debate on the phone hacking crisis, Cameron said: "I have never had one inappropriate conversation."

However he did not deny that he had discussions with the newspaper group over the bid since he took the role of prime minister.

He also added that his cabinet secretary had ruled that no ministerial code was broken in relation to the BSkyB bid.

Jeremy Hunt later told the Commons any conversations David Cameron had about the BSkyB bid were "irrelevant"

Ivan Lewis accused David Cameron of dodging questions over the bid.

“On at least nine occasions David Cameron failed to give a direct and full response to legitimate questions about whether he discussed BSkyB with News Corp and News International executives.

"Despite claiming he was prepared to answer “any and all” questions he still hasn’t given full details on these meetings, including when they took place and what exactly was discussed.

“David Cameron needs to come clean and provide complete transparency. Until he does so there will continue to be serious questions about his judgement", the Shadow Culture Secretary said.

Cameron has been heavily criticised for his links to News International, in particular for his friendship with two former News of the World editors who have both been arrested in the wake of the scandal - Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson.

He apologised for the "furore" the appointment of Coulson to Downing Street had recently caused and said it would be a matter of “profound regret” if he was found to have lied over his knowledge about phone hacking.

“Of course I regret, and I am extremely sorry about the furore it has caused.

"With 20:20 hindsight and all that has followed I would not have offered him the job and I expect that he wouldn't have taken it… But you don't make decisions in hindsight, you make them in the present. You live and you learn and believe you me, I have learned."


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