Leveson Inquiry: Summary of week 19

  • Published
Media caption,

Brooks: David Cameron signed off messages with 'LOL'

The PM's LOL text message sign offs, Andy Coulson's News Corp shares, and the enduring mystery of Milly Dowler's voicemail messages dominated the debate after evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in week 19.

The Metropolitan Police fell under the spotlight first as various witnesses tried to determine exactly undefined

The force confirmed on Wednesday that her phone had been hacked after she vanished in 2002, but Det Ch Insp John MacDonald said it remained unclear whether the messages were deleted automatically or deliberately.

Incomplete records and the lapse of time meant the truth would never emerge, the Royal Courts of Justice in London heard.

On Thursday, it was the turn of former News of the World editor undefined worth £40,000 while working as the PM's press chief.

He admitted he had not declared them while working at No 10, and in a witness statement said he only considered a possible conflict of interest after he quit.

He also denied he was hired because of his links to News International, but said he did not disagree with Mr Cameron's comment that the press and politicians had got "too cosy".

There was no "grand conspiracy" between the government and the media though, a focussed Mr Coulson told the inquiry.

Media caption,

Andy Coulson admitted he did not declare shares in Newscorp while working at No 10

Perhaps the most interesting day came on Friday, as another former NoW editor - undefined during her five-hours of evidence.

She told the inquiry that he ended some text messages to her with the letters LOL, pointing out that he stopped this when he learnt it stood for "laugh out loud" not "lots of love".

The former News International boss said suggestions that he texted her up to 12 times a day as leader of the opposition were "preposterous" as they both had "better things to do".

She also revealed details of a previously unseen email revealing Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt sought "private advice" from News Corp over phone hacking.

Sent to her by the firm's PR chief Frederic Michel, it said Mr Hunt wanted "guidance" - a claim described as "inaccurate" by his spokeswoman.

The cabinet minister was tasked with deciding if News Corp's bid to takeover satellite broadcaster BSkyB - which was later dropped - could go ahead.

Finally, Mrs Brooks was asked about her relationship with other politicians, including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

She said she had his express permission to run a story in 2006 about their son Fraser being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, but the Browns have issued a statement flatly denying that.

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.