Phone-hacking debate as it happened: 20 July

Key points

  • David Cameron says that, "with hindsight", he would not have employed ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his press spokesman.
  • Labour leader Ed Miliband accuses the PM of a "catastrophic error of judgement" in hiring Mr Coulson.
  • The Met Police is accused of a "catalogue of failures" over its hacking inquiry in a damning report by the home affairs committee
  1.  
    0815:

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of what promises to be another gripping day.

    As MPs reflect on Tuesday's dramatic evidence from Rupert and James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks to a committee of backbench MPs, attention shifts to the Commons where Prime Minister David Cameron will make a statement on phone hacking ahead of a full day's debate.

     
  2.  
    0821:

    Earlier this morning a damning report from the home affairs committee accused the Met Police of a "catalogue of failures". Keith Vaz tells BBC Breakfast: "The major shortcoming is that the victims should have been put right at the heart of this investigation."

     
  3.  
    0822:

    The chairman of the committee adds: "I think what we are saying is, that if they had taken appropriate and proper action, if there had been a thorough investigation, then some of the issues that have come to light in the last few weeks would have been dealt with years ago."

     
  4.  
    0824:

    Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt defends David Cameron's judgement, saying the prime minister has taken the necessary decisions to deal with the scandal. He tells BBC Breakfast: "He's got an independent police inquiry, he's got an independent judge-led inquiry, he's published all the meetings he's had with media owners and said in the future ministers will publish all the meetings that they have with media proprietors."

     
  5.  
    0830:

    Labour MP Chris Bryant criticises Rupert Murdoch's claim to MPs that he was not ultimately responsible for the actions of the News of the World, which amounted to 1% of his global business. The MP says: "If you're a director of a major listed company, one of your responsibilities is to make sure that the corporate governance in your organisation is so robust that nothing can go wrong. That's when you have to say the buck has to stop at the top."

     
  6.  
    0833:

    If you're just joining us here's a quick glance at some of the developments overnight:

    • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the Australian arm of News Corp will have to answer "hard questions"
     
  7.  
    0835:

    BBC political correspondent Ben Wright says the Commons debate that follows the PM's statement later will give MPs a chance to catch their breath and gather their thoughts at the end of a "remarkable fortnight".

     
  8.  
    0836:

    Our correspondent says questions are likely to resurface about the prime minister's judgement in hiring former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his communications chief.

     
  9.  
    0840:

    Back to Jeremy Hunt and his reaction to yesterday's grilling by MPs of the "Wapping three" - Rupert and James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks. Mr Hunt says: "What shocked me listening yesterday was the fact that so much wrongdoing seemed to happen without the knowledge of the people at the top."

     
  10.  
    0854:

    BBC business editor Robert Peston says yesterday's home affairs committee hearing had its moments of drama, but few moments of revelation. Read his full analysis here.

     
  11.  
    0855: Richard Coote from Somerset

    emails: Whilst all this is a terrific media fest for you all - it's becoming ridiculous. Whilst everyone agrees the Milly Dowler hacking is abhorrent, it is being used as an excuse for politicians and celebrities to even the score with NI.

     
  12.  
    0857:

    Media analyst Steve Hewlett notes that the News International directors told MPs yesterday they had known nothing about the hacking and had acted properly as soon as they realised there was a problem, only for the Home Affairs Select Committee to report this morning that there was an "organised campaign of obstruction" at the company. "These two things do not go together," he adds.

     
  13.  
    0904:

    The front page of every newspaper carries the story of the Murdochs' dramatic appearance before MPs yesterday. Read their assessment of events in our newspaper roundup.

     
  14.  
    0907:

    Trevor Kavanagh, associate editor of the Sun, has his own take on the scandal, suggesting the media should focus more on the state of the global economy. And he says some critics are simply out to get Rupert Murdoch: "There will be those who won't be happy til the Murdochs are taken away in tumbrils to the guillotine."

     
  15.  
    0909:

    If you're wondering what a tumbril is, by the way, it's an open cart that tilted backward to empty out its load, in particular one used to convey condemned prisoners to the guillotine during the French Revolution. Yes, we had to look that up.

     
  16.  
    0909: Barbara Spence

    tweets: Why the fuss re Murdoch not knowing what went on at NoW? You think the CEOs of most businesses know what's going on throughout their companies?

     
  17.  
    0914:

    The build-up to David Cameron's statement to the Commons at around 1130 BST continues. Labour MP Chris Bryant is giving an interview to the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg outside Parliament. He won't be the last.

     
  18.  
    0915:

    Mr Bryant says "very senior people at Buckingham Palace" expressed concern about David Cameron taking Andy Coulson into Downing Street, concerns which "got to senior figures at Downing Street".

     
  19.  
    0917:

    There were certainly attempts to make the prime minister understand the concerns of the senior figures at Buckingham Palace, Mr Bryant adds.

     
  20.  
    0917:

    Rupert Murdoch tells workers in an e-mail that staff involved in the hacking scandal must be held to account but that his company will emerge stronger, reports Reuters. It quotes the News International director as saying: "We are taking urgent steps to address the past and ensure that serious problems never happen again. Those who have betrayed our trust must be held accountable under the law."

     
  21.  
    0921:
    Australian newspaper front pages

    It wasn't just the front pages in the UK that carried the story of the grilling of the Murdoch's by MPs - here's a selection of Australia's.

     
  22.  
    0924:

    Back to Chris Bryant now, and the sourcing of his claims on the BBC that "very senior people at Buckingham Palace" were concerned about David Cameron taking former News of the World editor Andy Coulson into Downing Street.

    Mr Bryant says it's from a "very good source", albeit an indirect one. He says he had "spoken to the person who spoke to the person".

     
  23.  
    0925:

    David Cameron is likely to be questioned later about evidence that his chief of staff Ed Llewellyn prevented information about hacking allegations from reaching him. Conservative MP and Culture Select Committee member Therese Coffey says Mr Llewellyn is usually a "very sensible judge" of what should reach the PM. "People are trying to suggest that underhand things are going on. That's not my experience with David Cameron; it's not my experience with Ed Llewellyn," she adds.

     
  24.  
    0927: Vid Matimong from Chesham UK

    e-mails: I believe that there is one other element that has been missed through this whole situation. That is the mobile phone operators. As I understand it, people gain entry to the mobile phone answering service to listen to messages. How many people know that they have the ability to access their voicemail from another phone? How many people know what their PIN number is? The mobile operators need to play a much bigger part in making sure that the services they provide are secure.

     
  25.  
    0933: Laura Kuenssberg Chief political correspondent, BBC News channel

    A Downing Street source has described suggestions that Buckingham Palace raised concerns about Andy Coulson as "complete rubbish"

     
  26.  
    0935: Jonathan from Brighton, UK

    e-mails: The Murdoch fightback has begun. The central spin - We are victims. Victims of old age, betrayal and commercial and political enemies. They want us to forget the deliberate strategy of profound political influence by means that mocked democracy.

     
  27.  
    0942: Laura Kuenssberg Chief political correspondent, BBC News channel

    Buckingham Palace are unlikely to want to get involved in this whole thing, but perhaps the tone of any statement, or the lack of any statement, might give us clues to whether or not there's anything in this.

     
  28.  
    0944:

    Reaction to the phone-hacking scandal is global. Here's Iranian daily newspaper Quds: "What happened in England has not only stigmatised English rulers and imposed irretrievable costs on the country, but has also made it crystal clear that the slogans of Western politicians to respect civil and human rights are simply a series of slogans ment to keep and stabilise their own power."

     
  29.  
    0948: Via Blog Robert Peston Business editor, BBC News

    This is the moment of maximum danger for the Murdoch dynasty in relation to whether it can keep control of the house that Rupert built.

     
  30.  
    0950:

    Commentators are noting that News Corporation shares have performed well since its directors gave evidence to MPs. Media analyst Claire Enders tells Sky News there was a "palpable sense of relief" among global investors at the performance of Rupert and James Murdoch yesterday.

     
  31.  
    0951: Christa Mackinnon

    tweets: Nobody knew anything, saw anything, heard anything and he is really a nice, humble old man. The hearings were senseless.

     
  32.  
    1000: Lynn F. Shaker from Portland, USA

    e-mails: The Murdochs and Ms Brooks appeared before the Commons and all were contrite, apologetic and, by gosh, none of them knew the hacking occurred during their watch. Obvious to me they were coached well and all were told to be contrite and apologetic and don't admit a thing.

     
  33.  
    1007:

    With less than 90 minutes to go to David Cameron's statement to the Commons on phone hacking, let's remind ourselves of the context. The prime minister flew back to London last night, having cut short his trade mission to Africa, and Parliament was recalled from its sumer recess for the emergency debate.

     
  34.  
    1012:

    Former home office minister David Mellor tells the BBC that David Cameron has to regain the political initiative by making it clear these matters will be looked at with the "utmost seriousness", by ensuring criminal acts are prosecuted and by trying to rid the government of the "tarnish" of Andy Coulson.

     
  35.  
    1013:

    If the reputation of the British press is taking a battering at home, there is little support from commentators in China. "It is hard to believe that such eavesdropping activities were only confined to one media outlet," says Prof Guo Zhenzhi in Beijing's Renmin Ribao paper. Meanwhile, Prof Zhi Tingrong tells Guangzhou's Nanfang Ribao that hacking is "long-term and widespread", and reflects government weaknesses. Ouch.

     
  36.  
    1018:
    Rupert Mudoch

    Under the headline "Murdoch's defence" in one of his own papers, News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch digests analysis of his performance before MPs yesterday

     
  37.  
    1024:

    Cabinet office minister Mark Harper says David Cameron has already acknowledged his responsibility for hiring former NoW editor Andy Coulson. "What did come out yesterday, of course, from the evidence that the Murdochs gave to the committee, was that the links that he had with the last government were very close," he says.

     
  38.  
    1024:

    Mr Harper adds: "Rebekah Brooks was in and out of Downing street six times a year and not once did Gordon Brown ever raise any of these issues with Rupert Murdoch on their frequent meetings."

     
  39.  
    1025: ConservativeHome.com editor Tim Montgomerie

    blogs: David Cameron needs to show he's earnt the right to move on from Hackgate and then he needs to move on. Quickly.

     
  40.  
    1033:

    More on Labour MP Chris Bryant's claims that Buckingham Palace had expressed concern over Mr Coulson's appointment as No 10's communications director. A Downing Street source says at no point did the Palace try to warn officials at No 10 or of Mr Cameron's political team against the appointment.

     
  41.  
    1035:

    Asked about the evidence he heard yesterday, Conservative MP Damian Collins says it suggested newspapers needed better governance.

    "In newsrooms there are reporters filing stories where the lawyers and news editors don't understand the full facts... that's what we were asked to believe," he says.

     
  42.  
    1035:

    It is also "wrong" if people at the top do not know much about millions of pounds being paid out in compensation for wrongdoing, Mr Collins adds.

     
  43.  
    1041:

    More on Chris Bryant's suggestion that Buckingham Palace had expressed concerns about the appointment of Andy Coulson. A Palace spokeswoman says: "No royal officials raised concerns about Mr Coulson's appointment with Downing Street. We do not comment on the private conversations of members of the royal family."

     
  44.  
    1042: Peter Hunt Royal correspondent, BBC News

    Royal sources have called the suggestion the Queen might have got involved "really speculative" and urged that people view the idea with "caution".

     
  45.  
    1047: Colin Quinn

    tweets: We should learn from the Blair/Brown fiasco. Cameron standing down would be a disaster unless accompanied by an election.

     
  46.  
    1052: Gary O'Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    Ed Miliband has published a list of media meetings since becoming leader. It shows that 11 out of 32 were with representatives of News International.

     
  47.  
  48.  
    1054: Walker from the UK

    e-mails: Perhaps Rupert Murdoch's laxity, as he puts it, in controlling what went on in his business empire is reason enough not to allow him to enlarge it any further.

     
  49.  
    1057: Wayne Williams

    tweets: Why just a statement? DC (David Cameron) has very serious questions to answer. Just stop hiding from the inevitable and answer them!

     
  50.  
    1100:

    The House of Commons Speaker's office confirms the prime minister will begin his statement on "public confidence in the media and police" after prayers at 1130 BST.

    David Cameron is likely to speak for about 20 minutes before the leader of the opposition and other MPs ask questions.

     
  51.  
    1104:
    Lachlan Murdoch

    News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch's son Lachlan leaves his father's London home

     
  52.  
    1105: John Harrogate

    texts: I believe the phone-hacking scandal is David Cameron's Iraq - he will be judged on this. I am disgusted by the Murdochs and Brooks not accepting the blame. As a former shop manager I took full responsibility for what went on in my shop.

     
  53.  
    1107: David Pugh from Liverpool

    emails: This excuse of the problem of investigating the governance of a large company is greatly exaggerated. How many levels of command are there between the hacker and Rupert Murdoch? Certainly not more than can be in one room. Get them all in and ask them what did/do you know and why didn't you tell your boss.

     
  54.  
    1108:

    Former News of the World editor Piers Morgan demands an apology from MP Louise Mensch for suggesting during yesterday's hearings that he boasted of using phone hacking in a book about his days as a tabloid editor. Describing it as a "complete outrage", he complains: "Anyone who read the book knows I said no such thing."

     
  55.  
    1110: Ian

    tweets: Surely surely David Cameron will finally apologise for hiring Andy Coulson today? It will be humiliating for him but it will buy him time.

     
  56.  
    1114:

    The chairman of the media select committee, John Whittingdale, says he is "very angry" about the foam pie incident as Rupert Murdoch gave evidence yesterday. He says the Commons Speaker will issue a statement about it later.

     
  57.  
    1117:

    A grim faced David Cameron leaves Downing Street ahead of the debate

    David Cameron
     
  58.  
    1120:

    More from the High Court on the alleged hacking of Hugh Grant and Jemima Khan's voicemail messages: The judge says police should disclose information relating to messages allegedly intercepted by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and used in the News of the World and other newspapers.

     
  59.  
    1126: Jo Darbyshire from Lancashire, UK

    emails: Where are the non-executive directors of News International in all of this, and where is their internal audit and more particularly their audit committee? Why aren't they and the shareholders shouting at the Murdochs and demanding explanation?

     
  60.  
    1128:

    US satirist Jon Stewart is seeing the funny side of the scandal, reckoning even a Harry Potter star turned up to give evidence. His take on yesterday's evidence can be seen via Comedy Central on the Mediaite website.

     
  61.  
    1129: Arthur Osborne from Milton Keynes

    emails: I would now like to see how much contact - not just ministers but all MPs - have with the press. I hope we now see a reduction in all the secret briefings and underhand use of the media.

     
  62.  
    1133:

    Buckingham Palace has issued a formal denial after Labour MP Chris Bryant claimed senior royal figures had raised concerns about the appointment of Andy Coulson directly to Number 10. Here's how Mr Bryant made those allegations.

     
  63.  
    1136:

    David Cameron is on his feet in the Commons - here comes his statement

     
  64.  
    1136:

    The Commons benches are packed as MPs prepare to hear from David Cameron, but first there is a statement on yesterday's shaving-foam incident from the House Speaker.

     
  65.  
    1136:

    Speaker Jon Bercow describes yesterday's shaving foam attack on Rupert Murdoch as "regrettable" and says he has ordered an independent investigation into what went wrong.

     
  66.  
    1139:

    The PM outlines his action plan. He says he has a well-led police investigatiion and a wide ranging judicial inquiry to establish what went wrong to ensure it never happens again.

     
  67.  
    1142:

    Mr Cameron says the inquiry should consider "not just the relationship betwen the press, police and politicians, but their individual conduct too". He says it will also look at broadcasters and social media to see if there is any evidence they have been involved in criminal activities.

     
  68.  
    1143:

    Mr Cameron says the scandal has shaken the public's confidence in the police and press

     
  69.  
    1145:

    Mr Cameron says police corruption must be rooted out. He says the police "should pursue the evidence wherever it leads and arrest exactly who they wish, and that is exactly what they have done".

     
  70.  
    1146:

    This public inquiry will be as robust as possible, fully independent and Lord Justice Leverson will be able to call witnesses as he wishes, Mr Cameron says.

     
  71.  
    1146:

    To risk any perception that No. 10 was seeking to influence any police investigation in any way would have been wrong, Mr Cameron says.

     
  72.  
    1146:

    The cabinet secretary has ruled that the ministerial code was not broken, says Mr Cameron.

     
  73.  
    1147:

    Neither Neil Wallis nor his company has ever been employed by the Conservative Party, the PM says.

     
  74.  
    1147: Geoff in Kent.

    Surely in light of the admission that Neil Wallis provided 'informal' advice to the Conservative Party's election campaign via Andy Coulson, then this must raise serious questions about the relationship between the current government and News International, particularly two people directly connected with phone hacking. If two senior police officers (who are public servants) connected with one of these people feel it appropriate to step down then the time has come for David Cameron and his party (also public servants) to realise their situation is no different.

     
  75.  
    1148:

    We are being entirely transparent about this issue, Mr Cameron says.

     
  76.  
    1149:

    If it turns out Andy Coulson knew about the hacking at the News of the World and lied to the PM, then it would require a "profound apology", Mr Cameron says.

     
  77.  
    1149: Chris from France

    This is like watching the build up to the FA Cup, ridiculous speculation, biased and unfounded statements. Can we all please have some sense of collective responsibility. Yes we are all guilty in some way for buying sensationalist headlines. Let the right people focus on the correctly set up inquests and stop this crazy media/political feeding frenzy! Please!

     
  78.  
    1150:

    Mr Cameron repeats that he takes full responsibility for hiring Andy Coulson and says he has learned from the experience but that his greatest responsibility now is to "clear up the mess".

     
  79.  
    1150:

    My staff behaved entirely properly over former assistant police commissioner John Yates' e-mail, says the PM

     
  80.  
    1150: Chris Sivier

    tweets: Do we really expect anything to happen today? MPs are off on their holidays and this will be kicked into touch by the ongoing inquiry. Cameron will survive for now, but it will be interesting to see the reaction of Tory MPs.

     
  81.  
    1151: Gary O'Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    Significant widening of the Leveson inquiry - other police forces and broadcasters too - we're all in it together it seems.

     
  82.  
    1152:

    In his response, Labour leader Ed Miliband congratulates the prime minister on recalling Parliament to help rebuild public confidence in the press and politics.

     
  83.  
    1152: Trina from the UK

    emails: This is our Watergate in reverse. Just like Watergate, no one seems to take responsibility, seems to have known what was going on and its not clear who has gained from patronages. The difference here is the involvement (or not) of the police. Can't wait for the book/film in due course..

     
  84.  
    1152:

    The PM must take responsibility in the way that Met chief Sir Paul Stephenson did, Mr Miliband says.

     
  85.  
    1153:

    Speaker John Bercow points out to MPs who are heckling that their actions do not look good to the public.

     
  86.  
    1154:

    The country has the right to expect the prime minister would have made every effort to uncover information about Andy Coulson to protect his office, Mr Miliband says.

     
  87.  
    1155: G Treble from Coleshill

    emails: Labour's position on phone hacking is interesting. Let us remember this happened during their governance and not that of the coalition!

     
  88.  
    1155:

    The PM had five opportunities to act on information that would have caused him to change his mind about hiring Mr Coulson, the Labour leader argues.

     
  89.  
    1155: Laura Kuenssberg Chief political correspondent, BBC News channel

    tweets: In my memory, first time Cameron has actually said with hindsight he perhaps shouldn't have offered Coulson the job - change of tone

     
  90.  
    1156:

    Ed Miliband asks Mr Cameron whether he can assure the House that Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB bid was not raised in any of the meetings he held with News International officials.

    Did he discuss the bid with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, he adds.

     
  91.  
    1157:

    Mr Miliband reels off newspaper allegations that Mr Coulson knew about hacking, published when he still worked for Mr Cameron, but the Labour leader says the PM did nothing.

     
  92.  
    1157:

    Mr Cameron earlier told MPs that with "20-20 hindsight" he would not have appointed Mr Coulson as his communications chief.

     
  93.  
    1157:

    Mr Cameron was guilty of "a deliberate attempt to hide from the facts about Mr Coulson", Mr Miliband claims.

     
  94.  
    1158:

    The PM was caught in a conflict of loyalty and made the wrong choice by sticking with Mr Coulson, says Mr Miliband.

     
  95.  
    1158: Russ in Bradford

    What's a "profound apology"? Is that just saying that you're "very sorry" as opposed to just "sorry"? It's all just meaningless words to reassure an increasingly weary and cynical audience.

     
  96.  
    1159: Symon Hill

    tweets: Will we ever hear Ed Miliband apologise for Labour's subservience to the Murdoch press while in office?

     
  97.  
    1200:

    Mr Miliband says the PM and his staff were warned five times about Mr Couslon. The Labour leader says the PM made every effort not to hear the facts about Mr Coulson and that he was compromised by the relationship.

     
  98.  
    1201: Edward in Leeds

    I think it is appalling that the prime minister is having to defend himself in this way. This happened on Labour's watch. What hypocrisy.

     
  99.  
    1202:

    Mr Miliband: "Why doesn't he [Mr Cameron] do more than the half apology for hiring and bringing him (Andy Coulson) into the heart of Downing Street?

    Mr Cameron replies: "Stop hunting for feeble conspiracy theories".

     
  100.  
    1203:

    Mr Cameron responds to Mr Miliband's criticisms. He says: "No-one has raised a single question about Mr Coulson's conduct at 10 Downing Street."

     
  101.  
    1204: Carol

    David Cameron and all MPs fail to understand that public confidence is not only shaken in respect of media and police but compounds further lack of confidence in politicians. None can be trusted!

     
  102.  
    1205:

    The PM has announced the names of the panel members who will assist Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry: Civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti, former West Midlands police chief Sir Paul Scott-Lee, ex-Ofcom chairman Lord David Currie, former Channel 4 News political editor Elinor Goodman, ex-Daily Telegraph political editor George Jones and former Financial Times chairman Sir David Bell.

     
  103.  
    1207:

    Former Labour frontbencher Alan Johnson asks if the PM knew Neil Wallis was helping police, something Mr Cameron denies.

     
  104.  
    1207: Via SMS Pat in Bristol

    Would love to have a body language specialist assess Nick Clegg through this, some interesting reactions at various stages of Mr Cameron's responses to Mr Miliband.

     
  105.  
    1209:

    Mr Cameron says there was no breach of the ministerial code and no inappropriate conversations with News International.

     
  106.  
    1209:

    Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes asks whether the PM accepts that all governments in recent years have been "far too close" to Rupert Murdoch's media empire. Mr Cameron replies that the government has been fully transparent in its dealings with the media.

     
  107.  
    1210: Tom in Kent

    All this talk of 'hypocrisy' is similar to when Cameron went on and on about how Labour caused the banking crisis. They're more than happy to go along with it whilst in office but when it all falls apart it's finger pointing. Always the same. They're all implicated.

     
  108.  
    1210: Cllr Phil Yerby

    tweets: Cameron far too aggressive in debate - sounds rattled - why? Needs to show calm leadership and coolly expose Ed M's pure opportunism.

     
  109.  
    1212: Nick Jones from Salisbury

    emails: Simple questions. Who hacked Milly Dowler's phone? If it was Glenn Mulcaire then why has he not been arrested and charged? If it wasn't him then who was it? Also why have 10 people been arrested and yet still no-one has been charged?Are the police dragging their feet again?

     
  110.  
    1213: Andrew Maund in Worcester

    Miliband seems to forget his recent history. Brown and Blair were as close,if not closer, to News International.

     
  111.  
    1215: Via Blog Nick Bryant BBC News, Sydney

    Britons of a certain vintage will remember the question asked after election night in 1997: "Were you up for Portillo?" - a reference to the Cabinet minister whose middle-of-the-night constituency defeat came to symbolise the end of 18 years of Conservative rule. Many Australians have been asking this morning: "Were you up for the pie?" and wondering perhaps whether the Murdoch era of media dominance has also come to an end.

     
  112.  
    1215: Via SMS Glenn

    Why is the Leveson inquiry using predominantly ex-media individuals as the panel? This is akin to using a cotton bud to lance a boil. Surely it should be all judicial?

     
  113.  
    1218:

    The public wants politicians to sort this out on a cross-party basis so they can deal with the other issues that people are worried about, such as the Eurozone's financial problems, the PM says.

     
  114.  
    1218: Diane Abbott MP

    tweets: Cameron accuses Ed Milliband of a "feeble conspiracy theory". If it's all fantasy, how come the series of top level resignations?

     
  115.  
    1219:

    If people have been paying police officers for information, those officers need to be prosecuted - along with the people who were paying them, says Mr Cameron.

     
  116.  
    1222:

    Away from the Commons, the director of human rights group Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, describes being given a place on the Leveson inquiry panel as a "daunting privilege". She adds: "My acceptance is a vote of confidence in the vital role of independent judicial process in times of national difficulty."

     
  117.  
    1222:
    David Cameron

    David Cameron tells the Commons the hacking inquiry has the remit to look at other alleged practices such as "blagging" and hacking into e-mail accounts

     
  118.  
    1222: Richard George from Cambridge

    emails: It's all just point scoring - there's nothing from either side about accepting responsibility. The public just want to see justice done for those hurt in all this. Maybe Oliver Cromwell had the right idea when he disbanded Parliament until they started to work of *us* rather than themselves.

     
  119.  
    1225: Gary O'Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    Very bad tempered affair, though one small moment of unexpected cross-party love - the PM paying tribute to the Labour MP Tom Watson for his work on phone hacking.

     
  120.  
    1225: Stuart Colley in Brussels

    Why is no one talking about stricter limits on the number of media outlets that one organisation can own? We need much greater plurality of ownership.

     
  121.  
    Charlotte from London

    emails: Cameron thinks we'll swallow his excuses for why he hired Coulson but the evidence will tell all.

     
  122.  
    1226:

    Labour veteran Dennis Skinner accuses the PM of refusing to answer a simple question about whether he discussed News International's bid to buy BSkyB with representatives of the company. Mr Cameron replies that he had removed himself completely from the bid process.

     
  123.  
    1227: Michael in Leeds

    To accuse Labour of hypocrisy on this issue is to misunderstand the problem. Labour (especially Brown) had far less association with Murdoch. David Cameron's government must explain the hiring of Coulson and his cosiness with News Corporation in general.

     
  124.  
    1228:

    There is a responsibility to show an "element of restraint" in any reform of the media so as not to threaten the British tradition of investigative journalism, Mr Cameron says.

     
  125.  
    1228: Grendad from Malvern, Worcs

    emails: Is Mr Clegg thinking about separating himself from this rotten government? Just look at the poor man.

     
  126.  
    1230: Carol in London

    Most politicians never seem to be able to answer a direct question. David Cameron please answer the question. Did you discuss BSkyB at any time in your meetings with News International?

     
  127.  
    1230:

    Assessing David Cameron's conduct over the hacking affair, Labour MP David Winnick tells the Commons his actions have been "pretty sordid".

     
  128.  
    1230: Gary O'Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    Interesting appeal for non-partisanship from Tory MP Louise Mensch - then proceeding to [become partisan] by raising the issue of Tom Baldwin, Ed Miliband's aide who used to work for News International.

     
  129.  
    1231: Columnist Kevin Maguire

    tweets: Beast of Bolsover bites Cameron for evading answers on talks with NI on BSkyB. Dennis Skinner's still one of the sharpest.

     
  130.  
    1235: Kevin from Manchester

    emails: I do not understand why this has blown up so much. All companies employ people not knowing the full background of that person. The government is no exception. I'm not sure why they are still debating it.

     
  131.  
    1237:

    A quick round-up of the main points from David Cameron:

    • With hindsight, he would not have hired Andy Coulson as communications chief
    • Mr Coulson is innocent until proven guilty
    • He was unaware of any advice given to Mr Coulson by former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis
    • The meetings with News International broke no rules
    • Staff acted properly in turning down a police briefing about the hacking scandal
     
  132.  
    1238:

    The questions about Mr Cameron's employment of Andy Coulson keep coming. Mr Cameron says he had set himself a "simple test" - had anyone had provided information about his involvement in hacking, he would have been fired.

     
  133.  
    1238: Gary O'Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    Labour scent a chink in the PM's defence - repeated questions now over whether the BSkyB bid was discussed by the PM at all in his 26 meetings with News International people. He insists he had no "inappropriate" conversations but he seems to stop short of simply saying "no".

     
  134.  
    1238: Jessica from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

    emails: Out of ALL the people in the world to hire, why was it so essential to hire Andy Coulson? He was so obviously swayed by the cosy relationship with News International.

     
  135.  
    1243: Ken Hall from Barrow in Furness, UK

    emails: So Cameron should stand down because he employed someone Who did his job admirably, but, who in a previous unrelated job was in charge of lots of people, some of whom did something wrong and this person might have known about it and lied? Shut down all businesses, because EVERY employer may have employed someone who has a tenuous link to some other wrongdoer at some point in their past.

     
  136.  
    1243: Mike Sivier from Llandrindod Wells, Wales

    emails: The more Mr Cameron evades the serious questions, the more suspicious he makes himself and his government appear. Also, saying that meetings with News International reps broke no rules is not the same as saying nothing questionable took place.

     
  137.  
    1244:

    Mr Cameron says it would be naive to think the extent of malpractices would be confined to one newspaper group. He adds the terms of the inquiry would extend to cover the Scottish media.

     
  138.  
    Louise Mensch Mr Cameron paid tribute to MP Louise Mensch's line of questioning in yesterday's committee session.
     
  139.  
    1249:

    A reminder of Labour leader Ed Miliband's arguments:

    • The PM ignored damning information about Andy Coulson on at least five occasions
    • No 10 refused a police briefing because the PM was compromised by his relationship with Mr Coulson
    • The PM is guilty of deliberate attempt to "hide from the facts" about Mr Coulson
    • Mr Cameron's conflict of interest led to resignation of Met Police chief Sir Paul Stephenson
    • Sir Paul felt telling No 10 about hiring ex-News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis would have compromised the PM
     
  140.  
    1251: Robert in Prestwick

    texts: I think David Cameron made a mistake by not firing Coulson when this started to boil up, but I do believe Ed Miliband may regret his attacks. All this happened with their administration including the start of the BskyB bid - as they say, what goes round comes around.

     
  141.  
    1254:

    Politicians have to be open about the fact that both front benches court Rupert Murdoch, along with other newspaper owners and the BBC, the prime minister says.

     
  142.  
    1254: Mike in Wirral

    texts: This is denegrating into a trial by Parliament. Let the police investigate. Not the Met, pass it to Greater Manchester Police, Merseyside or Strathclyde. Then if any MPs or police are involved prosecute them.

     
  143.  
    1255: Via Email Les from Mansfield

    emails: It beggars belief that Coulson would have been given information by Wallis, and that information was not passed on to Cameron. He either didn't do his job, or someone is being "economical with the truth".

     
  144.  
    1255: Nicky in Durham

    texts: The government is not just any employer so comparisons to other businesses are irrelevant.

     
  145.  
    1256:

    News from the man who will head the inquiry into the phone hacking affair. Lord Leveson says his panel "must balance the desire for a robustly free press with the rights of the individual, while at the same time, ensuring the critical relationships between the press, Parliament, the government and the police are maintained".

     
  146.  
    1257:

    Lord Leveson says his inquiry's terms of reference "raise complex and wide-ranging legal and ethical issues of enormous public concern".

     
  147.  
    1257: Ross Connell from London

    emails: Coulson should never have been hired in the first place. He came with a track record, and with the literally hundreds of applicants that could have done that job, it looks suspicious when they hire a former NOTW editor. To believe Cameron knew nothing of this is naive.

     
  148.  
    1259:

    Labour's Barry Sherman asks the PM whether the intelligence services will be giving evidence at Lord Levenson's inquiry into the alleged hacking of a senior official. Mr Cameron says it's not policy to comment publicly on such matters.

     
  149.  
    1301: Barnaby from York

    emails: Let's hope the Enquiry get more straight answers than are being provided in this debate. They are all ridiculous and the Speaker has turned into a children's entertainer ...all very embarrassing - get rid of them all!

     
  150.  
    1302:

    More from Lord Leveson will will head up the inquiry on phone-hacking: "The press provides an essential check on all aspects of public life. That is why any failure within the media affects us all. At the heart of this inquiry therefore may be one simple question: Who guards the guardians?"

     
  151.  
    1303: Matthew Dorrance

    tweets: Very poor performance from #Cameron. His back is against the wall and he's hitting out rather than coming out fighting.

     
  152.  
    1307:

    Labour's Ann Clywd asks Mr Cameron whether any other "dodgy characters" remain in Downing Street following Andy Coulson's departure. The PM says he is happy with Mr Coulson's conduct when compared to Labour media advisers such as Damian McBride and Alastair Campbell.

     
  153.  
    1307: Danny in Leeds.

    texts: The relationship between successive governments and the Murdoch press can never be any more than a slavish desire to accomodate the media due to the level of influence the media holds. British media must be split up aggressively to ensure a greater number of equally loud voices if we want police and politics to court the media less in future.

     
  154.  
    1308: Jim Green in Norwich

    texts: Cameron has not answered re BskyB, his response to new warnings re Coulson, or the name of the company hired to check him. It does not look good.

     
  155.  
    1311:

    News Corporation confirms it will be terminating arrangements to pay the legal fees of former private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. This was hinted at during Tuesday's committee hearing with Rupert and James Murdoch.

     
  156.  
    1312: Gavin Kilwinning in Ayrshire

    texts: This is Cameron's Watergate, it is incredulous to believe he didn't know what was happening around him. General Election please.

     
  157.  
    1313:

    Mr Cameron says he will investigate whether Neil Wallis had any meetings at Downing Street with Andy Coulson.

     
  158.  
    1317: Gary O'Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    PM is promising to put in the public domain the details of what advice Neil Wallis gave to Andy Coulson in the run-up to the election.

     
  159.  
    1317:

    Lib Dem MP Tom Brake comments about the "inconclusiveness" of Tuesday's committee hearings. Mr Cameron says he disagrees and "some good progress" was made.

     
  160.  
    1318: Matt in York

    texts: Why didn't Mr Coulson go through the same vetting process as all other staff?

     
  161.  
    1318:

    Blog-led political news site the Huffington Post carries the full text of a letter from Tom Watson to David Cameron, dated October 2010, asking the prime minister to suspend Andy Coulson to allow investigation into fresh allegations that he knew about phone hacking in his time as News of the World editor.

     
  162.  
    1319:

    Lord Leveson confirms his inquiry hearings are to be held in public. Witnesses will no doubt be keeping fingers crossed the security budget is sufficient, in light of yesterday's shaving foam attack on Rupert Murdoch.

     
  163.  
    1319: Gary O'Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    PM is now saying that Neil Wallis "did some work" for Andy Coulson, which is a little different to the implication that they'd just had a chat or two.

     
  164.  
    1320:

    The PM is asked to confirm that Andy Coulson was not privy to any briefings about the police inquiry into phone hacking while at Downing Street. Mr Cameron says it is "not routine" for someone in his position.

     
  165.  
    1322: Rhonda O'Brien

    tweets: Listening from US. I find what the PM and HOC members are saying fascinating. Hopefully it will spark more investigation here in the US.

     
  166.  
    1329:

    More on that Tom Watson letter from the Huffington Post site: The Labour MP refers to claims in a Channel 4 documentary that Andy Coulson knew about hacking at the News of the World and had "listened to tapes of intercepted voicemail messages". If true, Mr Watson wrote in October 2010, it contradicted evidence Mr Coulson had given to MPs.

     
  167.  
    1329:

    Mr Cameron again pays tribute to his chief of staff Ed Llewellyn, who has come under fire from Labour for allegedly keeping the PM in the dark about phone-hacking, as being someone "utterly beyond reproach".

     
  168.  
    1336:

    Rupert Murdoch may have won the heart of wife Wendi Deng - seen leaping to the mogul's defence when he was splattered with shaving cream yesterday - having met when buying a share in Star TV China. But he never managed to conquer the Chinese market, according to this report by business reporter, Juliana Liu.

     
  169.  
    1336: Andy H Welsh

    writes on our BBC News Facebook wall: I don't get how he is still PM, he wasn't actually voted to be put there, and he has shown without a doubt ill judgement at the very least. He should not be running the country, end of!

     
  170.  
    1336:

    Labour's Michael McCann becomes the second MP to ask Mr Cameron to reveal the company which vetted Andy Coulson. Mr Cameron again declines to name the firm.

     
  171.  
    1339: Cheryl Duckworth in Fort Lauderdale, USA

    We need to be asking the same questions about coziness between our US media and politicians that the UK is asking.

     
  172.  
    1341:

    For those who want to relive the drama, the Guardian website is running full transcripts of the evidence of Rebekah Brooks, former Met Police chief Sir Paul Stephenson - along with his ex-Assistant Commissioner John Yates, and James and Rupert Murdoch before MPs yesterday.

     
  173.  
    1342:
    Wendy Deng being driven away from Rupert Murdoch's London apartment on 20 July 2011 After her heroics at the committee hearing, Wendy Deng is seen being driven away from her central London apartment on Wednesday
     
  174.  
    1345: tip66

    tweets: Would be strange if Murdoch stays but Cameron goes.

     
  175.  
    1346: Peter in Harwich, Essex

    texts: You may not like Cameron, but he's wiping the floor with the opposition.

     
  176.  
    1346: Sue from Norwich

    writes: Cameron isn't answering any of the direct questions about Coulson and the News Interational connections properly. He claims to be transparent but he seems very deliberately evasive to me. Not good, not good at all.

     
  177.  
    1348:

    If you've missed any of the twists and turns in the phone-hacking scandal, our timeline offers a handy re-cap of how events have unfolded. Meanwhile, our round-up of all the main players gives bite-sized profiles of the publishers, journalists and police officers connected to the investigation.

     
  178.  
    1348: Aaron Walwyn in Chester

    texts: This debate is going in circles, the independent review is needed and it is needed now.

     
  179.  
    1349:

    The prime minister said it would be "surprising" if "questions" were not asked about Mirror Group Newspapers when Lord Leveson's inquiry into the media gets under way.

     
  180.  
    1349: Gary O'Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    This is all getting a bit like a broken record - we are largely going round and round in circles.

     
  181.  
    1350: Ian in Lincolnshire

    texts: David Cameron being open and straightforward in the face of some infantile questioning from the opposition. Miliband eerily silent on the matter of Labour's relationships with the press.

     
  182.  
    1350: Chris Bowers, Chatburn, Lancashire

    Cameron's refusal to release details of the company which vetted Andy Coulson leads to only two possible conclusions. I think that either the identity of the Company is politically embarrassing to him and/or his party or it does not exist and Coulson was not vetted. Either way, his refusal to make this disclosure public is deeply concerning.

     
  183.  
    1354: Labour MP for Rotherham, Denis McShane

    tweets: This is longer than a Hugo Chavez speech. As with Watergate truth will come out bit by bit over next months and years

     
  184.  
    1357:

    Echoing the words of his predecessor Margaret Thatcher, at one point in the debate David Cameron says: "I'm enjoying this".

     
  185.  
    1357: loveandgarbage

    tweets: Cameron shouting "I'm enjoying this" didn't come across terribly well. And an unfortunate allusion given when Thatcher said it?

     
  186.  
    1357: Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley, Bacup, Lancashire

    I have to say what a great example we're setting here in the UK with all this live coverage of the House of Commons and Committees. One gets a great sense of just how important the established institutions of power are when it comes to providing the best leadership possible to everyone in the media and public at large. I'm proud to be British.

     
  187.  
    1400: James in London

    texts: There seems to be a lot of talk of Cameron calling a general election in the wake of this scandal. But has anyone actually considered the alternative? I don't think Ed Miliband inspires many Labour voters, let alone the country as a whole.

     
  188.  
    1402:

    A brief reminder about Damian McBride, whose name Conservative MPs kept mentioning during the Q&A session. He was an aide to former PM Gordon Brown and resigned in 2009 over unfounded personal smears made about senior Tories.

     
  189.  
    1402: Nick Martin

    writes on our BBC News Facebook wall: And the fact remains - Cameron has since sacked Coulson, whilst Miliband still employs two ex-News International journos in an advisory capacity.

     
  190.  
    1403:

    As the debate moves from a question and answer session to a general debate, David Cameron sums up his position. He tells the House the "true worth" of Parliament's committees have been on display, there have been "vigorous" talks led by the Commons, and a judge-led public inquiry was now in place.

     
  191.  
    1405: Brian in Basingstoke

    texts: Cameron has shown Labour's only interest in phone hacking to be an attempted coup d'etat but the coup has now failed.

     
  192.  
    1405:

    David Cameron has repeatedly defended his appointment of Mr Coulson over the past two years. Here's a summary of his comments.

     
  193.  
    1405: Gary O'Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    Got to be one of the longest statements - two hours and 24 minutes by my reckoning - and guess what, they're about to do it all over again for another five hours.

     
  194.  
    1407: Simon

    texts: I am glad Cameron is talking about the impact on victims. So much of this debate to date has been trying to blame people for things that at the time could not be seen. I am fed up of hearing politicians criticise Cameron and the Murdochs for how they run their business and intimate no employees should be trusted. If that were the case companies would be run by machines where nobody ever made a mistake - come on, get a life.

     
  195.  
    1408:

    Calling for a frank approach, David Cameron gives this brief assessment of the nature of the British media: "The left over-estimates the power of Mr Murdoch, the right overdoes the left-leaning of the BBC, but both of them have got a point - and never again should we let a media group get too powerful."

     
  196.  
    1410: Julia from Edinburgh, Scotland

    I find Cameron's "I'm enjoying this" deeply offensive - the guts of this whole issue are after all concerning a murdered child and relatives of terrorist victims.

     
  197.  
    1412: Goldy Hyder in Canada

    tweets: Canadians watching coverage of #NotW British Parliament special session must be saying "Oh that's how Question Period is supposed to be."

     
  198.  
    1414: Jonny

    texts: Cameron seems to have been very naive in his acceptance of Andy Coulson's assurances. Is this what he meant by leading the greenest government ever?

     
  199.  
    1417:

    More on David Cameron's defence of Andy Coulson over the years. His first response in July 2009 was to talk about "giving people a second chance". More recently he's acknowledged that he'll be "judged" on the decision.

     
  200.  
    1418: Bill

    texts: If you take on a new employee with known "previous", you have to risk assess them. Formally or informally, Cameron must have done this and he clearly got it wrong. It was a gamble designed to benefit the Tory party and now the nation is paying.

     
  201.  
    1418:

    The PM says the best way to maximise the chance of making a clean break with the past is to proceed on a cross-party basis.

    He called for restraint in what politicians say and do about the media.

     
  202.  
    1419: Terry from Ashford, Kent,

    writes: This argument can be sorted thus: all meetings should take place in boardrooms, not cosy dinners or private invites to the homes of those involved. It also should be made illiegal for MPs and the police to discuss matters relating to government in out of office hours, unless there's a matter of national security.

     
  203.  
    1420:

    More from Mr Cameron on the BBC. He says: "I don't think we should pretend this is simply about tabloids or simply about newspapers, I'm a huge supporter of the BBC and the licence fee but frankly I do think there came a time when the income of the BBC was so outstripping that of independent TV there was a danger of the BBC News becoming rather dominant."

     
  204.  
    1420:

    News Corporation reveals its decision to stop paying Glen Mulcaire's legal fees came after a meeting of its Management and Standards Committee this morning.

    In a statement, it says: "The MSC is authorised to co-operate fully with all relevant investigations and inquiries in the News of the World phone hacking case, police payments and all other related issues across News International, as well as conducting its own enquiries where appropriate."

     
  205.  
    1424:

    An early verdict on the PM's appearance in the Commons. The Guardian's Julian Glover reckons Mr Cameron was effective but evasive. "It wasn't the same thing as answering the big questions that still face him," he writes.

     
  206.  
    1425:

    Ed Miliband reflects on the bigger picture. He tells the Commons: "This issue does not directly concern our jobs and living standards but it does concern something incredibly important on which all else depends - and that is the fabric of our country. We do not want to live in a country where the depraved deletion of the voicemail of a dead teenager is seen as acceptable."

     
  207.  
    1427: Conservative MP David Jones

    tweets: Good commitment from PM to strong, responsible media

     
  208.  
    1428: Blake Hounshell, managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine

    tweets from Doha: Arguably David Cameron is the only one who has taken responsibility for his actions in the #NoTW affair.

     
  209.  
    1428:

    Foreign Secretary William Hague tells the BBC Mr Cameron has always been "categoric" that no decision making about News Corp's bid for BSkyB should come "anywhere near him".

     
  210.  
    1430: Richard

    texts: Surely what needs to be created is a clear distinction between public interest, and public entertainment.

     
  211.  
    1430: Joe from London

    writes: How has the nation "paid" because of the employment of Andy Coulson? He did nothing wrong whilst in employment by David Cameron.

     
  212.  
    1432:

    On the appointment of Andy Coulson, Mr Hague tells the BBC that David Cameron was never given evidence that flatly contradicted the assurances Andy Coulson had given him.

     
  213.  
    1434:

    Pictures of a private jet sat on a runway at Luton Airport on our screens now. Why? News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch is about to leave the country.

     
  214.  
    1439: Gary O'Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    Tony Blair's former director of communications Alastair Campbell has asked Downing Street for evidence that he falsified documents while working in government. David Cameron made the charge during the statement on phone hacking.

     
  215.  
    1439:

    Mr Miliband adds: "The question to answer for victims like the Dowlers is whether the right system of redress is in place for the victims and whether they have confidence in it."

     
  216.  
    1440:

    Ed Miliband presses the point that Britain needs a stronger Independent Police Complaints Commission. He says it has limited powers, a huge case load and is not able to act pro-actively enough.

     
  217.  
    1440:

    Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has not published a list of his meetings with proprietors and senior media executives, despite appearing to tell the BBC's Today programme he had. A spokesman for the Department of Culture said Mr Hunt's remarks referred to limited disclosures made during his consideration of News Corp's bid for control of BSkyB. The full list will be published in due course.

     
  218.  
    1440:

    Rupert's jet is on the move. No doubt he'll have plenty to reflect on as he heads back to the US after his select committee appearance.

     
  219.  
    1440: Conservative MP Jason McCartney

    tweets: PM on top form, questions answered. Let's crack on and deal with Euro crisis, famine in Africa, Holmfirth Education Centre, Lindley Moor etc

     
  220.  
    1440: Via Twitter

    More on Alastair Campbell demands for the PM to explain his comments in the Commons. He tweets: Look forward to Cameron providing the evidence that I falsified govt documents. Given there is none, could be a long wait

     
  221.  
    1444: Labour MP Ben Bradshaw

    tweets: Cameron apologised for the "furore", not for his actions or lack of them.

     
  222.  
    1447:

    Commons Speaker John Bercow tells backbenchers their speeches will be limited to eight minutes with immediate effect. One caveat: that limit is reviewable, he says.

     
  223.  
    1450:
    A selection of front pages As Rupert Murdoch leaves the country, the impact of his appearance at yesterday's select committee hearing continues. Here's a selection of some of the front pages, illustrating the point.
     
  224.  
    1452: Mike in Harrow

    Whatever happened on Labour's watch, David Cameron needs to be held to account for Coulson.

     
  225.  
    1501:

    Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman tells the BBC major questions remain unanswered. She says: "David Cameron hasn't really come clean about the fact that he must have been having discussions with Rebekah Brooks of News International at the very time when the government was supposed to be considering in an impartial way their bid for BSkyB."

     
  226.  
    1504:

    "David Cameron has not satisfactorily explained how on earth it was the right judgement to hire Andy Coulson when he'd had to resign as editor because of phone hacking," Ms Harman adds.

     
  227.  
    1507:

    Shaving foam-pie thrower, Jonny Marbles, tells the Guardian he worried about Rupert Murdoch's feelings before launching his attack - but he had to do it because the mogul had simply got "too big for his boots".

     
  228.  
    1510: Via Twitter

    The Times' assistant news editor David Rose tweets: Tom Mockridge has just given a speech to Times newsroom - confirms no current plans to publish the Sun on Sunday.

     
  229.  
    1514:

    Former Lib Dem leader Lord Steel tells the BBC the Murdochs composed themselves "very well" in yesterday's comittee hearings and generally are "eating humble pie".

     
  230.  
    Laura from Nottingham

    texts: Cameron has left it too long to apologise for hiring Coulson. Bad move on his part, too obvious now. Even worse move to not admit that even now.

     
  231.  
    Peter Spencer from France

    writes: We now have the 'clean' politicians pontificating on the media and police when they are no better, having been cheating the British public via their dodgy expenses.

     
  232.  
    1523:

    Question: What have Microsoft boss Bill Gates, former Labour minister Clare Short, former Home Office minister Ann Widdecombe, TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson, economist Milton Friedman, philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch all got in common? Answer: They have all had a dalliance with custard pies - or improvised versions. Read more in this BBC Magazine feature.

     
  233.  
    1528:

    The green seats in the Commons are clearly visible now as the debate on public confidence in the media and the police goes on - but with a fraction of the number of MPs seen earlier.

     
  234.  
    1533:

    Simon Hughes, Lib Dem MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, calls for a suitable spread of media in Britain so that power is not too concentrated. He says the warnings were there that "something was very rotten" in the way the media has been regulated.

     
  235.  
    1535: Labour MP Jamie Reed

    tweets: Think Cameron's strategic incompetence of recent months makes a reshuffle/ attempted re-launch entirely likely at some point this year.

     
  236.  
    1540:

    Some more reaction to the day's events: James Forsyth, the Spectator's political editor, gives his verdict on the prime minister's performance, saying it "went some way to restoring Cameron's grip on the situation".

     
  237.  
    1546:

    Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Doocey tells the BBC she raised concerns as far back as February that senior officers at the Met Police had met News of the World executives at the same time Scotland Yard was investigating the newspaper. This, she says, was a "gross error of judgement" by the police.

     
  238.  
    1549: Nick Bryant BBC News, Sydney

    The parliamentary hearings became a major television event here - an overnight sensation. Read Nick's full blog here on how Australia viewed Rupert Murdoch's performance here..

     
  239.  
    1549: AB from Oldham

    writes: Have them take a lie detector test on the Jeremy Kyle show.

     
  240.  
    1549: Jon Kean from Shropshire

    emails: Did Cameron really say that the BBC leans to the left? I had to transfer my news watching to Channel 4 so outraged was I by the absolute sycophancy of the editors and reporters on BBC News towards his party.

     
  241.  
    1550:

    The Guardian's Jonathan Watts in Beijing notes that bloggers in China have been praising Wendi Deng for defending Rupert Murdoch from an attacker at Tuesday's culture committee hearing.

     
  242.  
    1550: John from Codsall, Staffordshire

    writes: Cameron states he is a big supporter of the BBC and licence fee. This is the only mistake he has made as far as I am concerned. Any supporter of the BBC is not fit to lead the country. As far as I care the BBC can just shut down for good.

     
  243.  
    1550: Labour MP Graham Jones

    tweets: News International stopped paying Mulcaire's legal fees. Rubbish. They paid top solicitors in full directly. Nothing to do with Mr Mulcaire. This is hush money.

     
  244.  
    1558: US actor Alec Baldwin

    tweets: Cameron should resign. England is filled with people who could do a better job.

     
  245.  
    1602:

    Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney says it's "deeply disappointing" the judge-led hacking inquiry will not re-examine the issue of privacy laws being broken. First Minister Alex Salmond had been pressing for Lord Justice Leverson to be allowed to consider a 2006 Information Commissioner's report revealing some 3,000 cases of newspapers breaking data protection laws.

     
  246.  
    1611: Ron Tocknell in Lydney, Gloucestershire

    It is impossible to have a totally unbiased press & media. Everyone will have their own agenda and facts can be reported in a way that supports a specific agenda. Murdoch's behaviour is not a 'revelation' to the government. It was known and tolerated because of Murdoch's power.

     
  247.  
    1611: The BBC's Andrew Neil

    tweets: Home select committee report today accuses News International of cover-up and thwarting police inquiry. Pity it didn't come out before yesterday

     
  248.  
    1616: Charles Frowne in Oxford

    emails: Why did nobody ask Mr.Cameron what other subjects he does not want "anywhere near him"? Surely we voted him in to be in charge of things and not to ignore difficult matters?

     
  249.  
    1616: Left-wing blogger Will Straw

    tweets: I'm confused. Why does Cameron regret hiring Coulson in hindsight but does not want to apologise for it?

     
  250.  
    1619: Isaac in Manchester

    texts: This isn't 'Watergate'. Hacking by media not party, targets were celebs not MPs. Cameron is guilty of neglect re: Coulson but not malice.

     
  251.  
    Laura in Nottingham

    texts: Cameron has left it too long to apologise for hiring of Coulson. Bad move on his part, too obvious now. Even worse move to not admit that even now.

     
  252.  
    1630: Joe in London

    emails (in reply to actor Alec Baldwin's tweet at 1558): Miliband should resign. England is filled with people who could do a better job.

     
  253.  
    1630: PoliticsHome.com editor Paul Waugh

    blogs about the BBC man who had his Westminster pass withdrawn for filming Murdoch's attacker with pie on his face: The House has pretty strict rules on where you can and cannot film and it may be that they've got him bang to rights. The only issue is whether there is any leeway for the extenuating circumstances of the mayhem of yesterday. But it may be that it's precisely because of the mayhem that the rules are being upheld so forcefully.

     
  254.  
    1631:

    Tim Montgomerie, of the ConservativeHome website, tells the BBC some backbench Tory MPs will be hoping that David Cameron will "improve his operation" because it has not been "all it should be" in relation to the scandal.

     
  255.  
    1631: Gordon Harris in London

    emails: The root of all evil here is that politicians want press support, particularly at key times, like elections. Accordingly, they cow tow to powerful media, and News International is the most powerful. The broadcast media are obliged to exercise impartiality and even-handedness at all times. Would it not be a start if the press were obliged to operate in the same way during election campaigns? No more "It woz the Sun wot won it" stuff!

     
  256.  
    1632:

    Dowler family lawyer Mark Lewis tells BBC World that David Cameron did not do enough to answer claims he was too close to News International executives, when he said no "inappropriate conversations" took place about the company's bid for BSkyB. "He was refusing to answer questions... He should have said 'yes' I did discuss it, or no I didn't," Mr Lewis says.

     
  257.  
    1641: Laura in Finland

    emails: Remember Deep Throat's advice, follow the money! Don't get hung up on someone like Coulson. And big thanks to the BBC for the possibility to follow the debate abroad!

     
  258.  
    1642: Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn

    tweets: David Cameron quizzed in Commons chamber from 11.30 until 15.00 and still apparently has never talked to anyone about BSkyB takeover. Really?

     
  259.  
    1642: Shirleygirl in Croydon

    emails: Have been listening to this debate since the start along with office colleagues and we all agree the PM has come over well, whereas Miliband just seems an opportunist, using the Milly Dowler phone hacking scandal for political gain. NEWSFLASH! The public see through this point-scoring. I also find the political slant at the BBC disturbing. Perhaps this should also be debated in Parliament. Just the facts please and less of the politically biased opinion.

     
  260.  
    1644:

    The Commons benches may be looking a little bare but David Cameron is still there - and still in the firing line. Labour veteran Sir Gerald Kaufman accuses his government of behaving in way not seen since the 1960s Profumo affair - when cabinet minister John Profumo resigned after lying about an affair with a prostitute. His view is brushed off from the Conservative benches.

     
  261.  
    1646: Scott Rayner in Oxford

    emails: I don't think any further revelations will shock the public. The PM has been at best naive over his appointment of Coulson and his close relationship with members of the Press. He will need a lot of support to restore public faith. I don't believe resignation is always honourable. A more honourable act is to admit mistakes, rectify them where possible and offer genuine apologies.

     
  262.  
    1652:

    George Eustice, David Cameron's former press secretary, tells the BBC that talk of backbench concern has been over-exaggerated. "I don't think there's anything else a prime minister could do," he adds.

     
  263.  
    1724: Carole Walker Pollitical correspondent, BBC News

    The PM was said to be in fighting mood as he went into the 1922 meeting of Conservative backbenchers he was greeted by prolonged banging of desks.

     
  264.  
    1725:

    Downing Street releases the prime minister's reply to Tom Watson's letter (see 1318) last October raising fresh concerns over the extent to which Andy Coulson knew of hacking at the News of the World. In it, Mr Cameron points out two inquiries were [at that stage] under way and adds: "The police have said previously that they will investigate whether there is new evidence to consider. Mr Coulson has made himself available should they wish to speak to him."

     
  265.  
    1728:

    Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, heading up the Scotland Yard investigation into phone-hacking, says her team has been boosted from 45 to 60 officers after a "significant increase in the workload"

     
  266.  
    1729:

    Cabinet secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell's letter to Labour's John Mann, who questioned whether David Cameron had broken the ministerial code, has been published. It says the PM was neither decision-maker nor sought to influence Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and so would not be required to consult Sir Gus before meeting Rebekah Brooks or James Murdoch. Decisions were "at all times taken properly", it adds.

     
  267.  
    1731: Gary O'Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    Today's statement and debate had something of the feeling of the morning after the night before. Yes it's true that the prime minister made some significant announcements broadening the terms of the Leveson inquiry to take in other police forces and broadcasters as well as newspapers, but the general feeling around Westminster is that a peak was reached yesterday and we're not learning much new despite Mr. Cameron facing 138 questions during his statement and more than three hours in the House.

    Labour, as you'd expect, are pursuing some perceived weaknesses - in particular Mr. Cameron's seeming unwillingness to say in straightforward simple terms that he never discussed the BSkyB bid by News corp during his 26 meetings with News International executives. They also feel the Prime minister is still very vulnerable on the question of Andy Coulson despite some movement from the PM today in saying that, with 20-20 hindsight, he wouldn't have employed Mr Coulson.

     
  268.  
    1732: Gary O'Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    On the Government benches however there's genuine anger that Labour is washing its hands of any responsibility for what has happened, even though the hacking went on under a Labour government and despite Gordon Brown's admission that he'd considered an inquiry into hacking, but didn't pursue it.

    MPs will head for their constituencies tonight for a summer break - and the next big episode in the hacking scandal is likely to be when Lord Leveson starts to examine the pillars of the state in his inquiry.Today's statement and debate had something of the feeling of the morning after the night before. Yes it's true that the prime minister made some significant announcements broadening the terms of the Leveson inquiry to take in other police forces and broadcasters as well as newspapers, but the general feeling around Westminster is that a peak was reached yesterday and we're not learning much new despite Mr Cameron facing 138 questions during his statement and more than three hours in the House.

     
  269.  
    1737:

    The debate rumbles on in the Commons but we're wrapping up our live text coverage of another eventful day in the on-going saga of the phone-hacking scandal. However, viewers can watch the remainder of the debate via the BBC's Democracy Live site.

     

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