The united front of Ed Miliband and David Cameron over the BSkyB takeover and the inquiry into phone hacking came unstuck temporarily at Prime Minister's Questions today.
The united front of Ed Miliband and David Cameron over the BSkyB takeover and the inquiry into phone hacking came unstuck temporarily at Prime Minister’s Questions today.
The Leader of the Opposition called on Mr Cameron to apologise for his “catastrophoic ertror of judgement” in hiring Andy Coulson, while the PM hit back by saying the public “want us to rise above it”.
Responding to Mr Miliband’s claims he was “warned by the deputy prime minister” and “warned by Lord Ashdown”, Mr Cameron repeatedly insisted it was right to give Coulson a “second chance”, and that, if he had been lied to, then Coulson had also lied to “the police, a select committee of this House and a court of law”.
If Coulson had lied, Mr Cameron said it would be “a matter of great regret”, and “should lead to a criminal prosecution”.
Watch the clash over Coulson in full below:
On the role of who knew what and when, Mr Miliband said:
“It has now been confirmed that the prime minister’s Chief of Staff and diector of strategy knew that, while editor, Andy Coulson hired John Rees, a man jailed for seven years for criminal conspiracy and payments to police.”
The prime minister again replying that if he had been lied to, then so had the police, Parlaiment and the courts.
Later in the session, Mr Cameron was asked whether he will “place in the library a log of all his meetings with Andy Coulson”, and Labour MP Tom Watson asked him whether the families of the victims of 9/11 were targeted, to which he replied:
“We will certainly look at that.”
The prime minister is currently laying out in detail the terms of the inquiry into phone hacking, and answering further questions on the issues raised by the scandal, with the Opposition Day debate on the News Corp takeover of BSkyB scheduled to begin at 2:00.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.