|The Prime Minister in the House yesterday|
I have just one question how come he is certain that not once in all the 26 meetings with Rebekah Brooks he can be sure that not one he spoke about BSkyB, yet at the same time when talking to the anti-terrorist chief from the Met he cannot recall talking about phone hacking even once. How are we tracing some of these terrorist threats to the UK if not by occasionally sanctioning phone tapping in the public interest? Surely such discussion could lead unto the phone hacking subject?
But as Mark Thompson points out, how can a senior executive at News Corps not take the opportunity of access to the Prime Minister (on one of the 6 occasions in the last year) to talk about her boss's burning ambition. If it was an inappropriate conversation surely the Prime Minister could have stopped her there, and said so in the House yesterday. Something along the lines of:
"Mrs Brooks did attempt to talk to me about BSkyB, but I stopped her from going further with that conversation."
Instead the formulaic "I had no inappropriate conversations, with that woman" sparks memories of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
One thing that the 138* MPs questions to him yesterday did highlight. The PM had a convenient forgettery over conversations with John Yates, but was crystal clear in his recollection of conversations and their appropriateness with Rebekah Brooks.
I suspect a convenient forgettery was in evidence over both.
* Mr Speaker was right the Prime Minister was wrong, he probably could not recall all the 138 MPs conversations with him. Still with a 1.45% drop off rate after a couple of hours who knows how much the PM can forget in a year.
The Prime Minister: I think it is ingenious, after 136 questions, to come up with something entirely new, so I pay tribute to my hon. Friend. I am sure the judge will be able to look at all vested interests and the power that they wield in our country.
Mr Speaker: I thank the Prime Minister and all Members. I was advised that there were 138 Members, but we will settle for 136, who have had the opportunity to question the Prime Minister, and I thank everyone for participating.
Hansard Vol. 531 Part 191 Col. 962 20 July 2011