Media 'Cosiness' Under Scrutiny, David Cameron Announces

Media 'Cosiness' Under Scrutiny, David Cameron Announces

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- The head of the civil service has been asked to review contacts between the media and Whitehall departments in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, David Cameron has announced.

The Prime Minister said Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell had written to senior civil servants about regulating and recording contacts with the press.

Mr Cameron told MPs: "We have seen that cosiness with the media is clearly a problem for the police, but it may be a problem for other walks of public life as well.

"I have asked the Cabinet Secretary to write to all permanent secretaries to ask them to review the way contacts between the media and their staff and other professional groups that work with their departments are regulated and recorded.

"We see there is a problem with the police and the media. We need, I think, to get ahead of there possibly being problems with other groups as well."

In a marathon Commons performance, Mr Cameron opened a debate on public confidence in the media after making an earlier statement and spending more than two hours answering MPs' questions on the issue.

MPs were due to have started their summer recess on Tuesday night but in order to hold the emergency session the Commons was formally recalled, the first time this has happened since 2002 when the break was cut short to consider Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.


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