12/10/2011 10:54 BST | Updated 12/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Paul Dacre Attacks David Cameron As Phone Hacking Inquiry Continues

David Cameron’s close relationship with News International executives was attacked by Paul Dacre, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail, speaking at a Leveson inquiry lecture.

Although subjects of his criticism were wide ranging, from the Internet to the “political classes”, Dacre denounced the convenience of Cameron’s condemnation of the press regulatory body, the PCC, prejudicing the outcome of Leveson inquiry itself.

Dacre boomed: "Am I alone in detecting the rank smells of hypocrisy and revenge?"

Reserving particular venom for politicians' “sickening genuflection to the Murdoch press” he criticised Cameron’s relationship with former News of the Word editor Andy Coulson and News International executiveRebekah Wade:

"I profoundly regret that a Prime Minister who was too close to News International, and in particular Andy Coulson and Rebekah Wade, in a cynical act of political expediency.... declared the PCC was a failed body."

He noted that the individuals on the panel were not wisely chosen for a helpful and informative investigation, calling them “honourable distinguished people..... who don't have the faintest clue how mass-selling newspapers operate.”

He also said that it was out of proportion for the Levenson inquiry to have “greater powers than those possessed by the public inquiries into the Iraq war.”

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "It is absolutely right that the Leveson inquiry was set up. The Prime Minister has accepted that politicians from all parties were too close to media organisations."