Labour: Cameron must ‘come clean’ over dealings with Murdochs

BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron and his most senior colleagues must “come clean” over their dealings with the Murdochs, Labour said yesterday.

Senior party figures have sent out a series of letters to cabinet ministers with more than 50 questions they claim have still not been addressed by the coalition in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.

The list focuses on exactly what discussions key members of the government had with the Murdoch family about their attempt to take full control of BSkyB. The bid collapsed following intense pressure.

Labour has demanded that Cameron, currently on holiday in Italy with his family, reveals “the dates, nature and content of the discussions” he had with James or Rupert Murdoch as well as ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks about the deal.

Labour is also attempting to keep up the pressure on Cameron and his colleagues about Andy Coulson, former News of the World editor turned Downing Street communications chief. The letter calls on the prime minister to reveal if he spoke to Coulson following his arrest.

Shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis said: “The signs are that David Cameron still does not get it.

“David Cameron and George Osborne treated warnings about Andy Coulson with contempt and failed to put a proper distance between themselves and senior News Corp executives during the consideration of the BSkyB bid.

“A tangled web of their own making will not go away until they and their cabinet colleagues give full and frank answers to legitimate questions,” said Lewis.

Earlier, Labour released the full list of meetings the shadow cabinet has had with senior media figures since the general election.

It showed the weekend before it emerged the mobile phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler was hacked by a private investigator working for the News of the World, shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander and shadow Olympics minister Tessa Jowell went to a party in the Cotswolds hosted by Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth and her husband Matthew Freud. The party was also attended by Brooks.

Meanwhile, Scotland Yard confirmed it was setting up a team to investigate computer hacking.

Operation Tuleta is, in part, looking at allegations made by a BBC Panorama programme in March that a senior News of the World executive obtained emails hacked from a computer belonging to a former intelligence operative in the North.

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