Phone-hacking scandal: Lies, lies and more lies
- Rebecca Davis
- 25 Aug 2011 (South Africa)
The murky News Corp story just gets murkier and dirtier with every passing week. Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are both back in the spotlight over revelations that Murdoch's media company carried on paying Coulson after he left to work for the Conservatives. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Probably the most sinister implication to emerge from the News of the World's demise has been the exposure of the chillingly chummy troika between the UK media, politicians and the police force. The Telegraph revealed this week that David Cameron would routinely sign his letters to former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks with the words "love, David". Aww.
And now it seems that News Corp and Cameron’s Conservative party essentially joint-funded former NOTW editor Andy Coulson after he left the tabloid to become Cameron’s spin-doctor. The BBC's business editor, Robert Peston, reported on Monday that Coulson received several hundred-thousand pounds from the media group after beginning work for the Tories. For the next three years he continued to receive employment benefits, like medical aid and a company car, from the Murdochs.
This is troubling for a couple of reasons, all of which amount to a patchwork of lies. Lie 1: Coulson, to the Commons culture committee in 2009. When asked if his "sole income" was the Conservative party, said yes. Lie 2: Rebekah Brooks, giving evidence to the same committee in July. When it was suggested that News Corp had subsidised Coulson's salary after he left the paper, she responded “that’s not true”. Lie 3: the Conservative party, which told The Guardian in July that "we can give categorical assurances that he wasn't paid by any other source".
Did Cameron know about the funding overlap? And what other deceptions are yet to be uncovered? Hang on to your seats – this show is far from over. DM
- Call for inquiry into News International payments to Andy Coulson, in The Guardian.
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