PM and Brooks 'in this together'
The previously-assured Tory leader failed several times to give a clear answer as to how frequently the pair met when, as leader of the opposition, he was attempting to win over the support of the Sun newspaper, which she edited. It took a lunch-break consultation of his wife Samantha's diary for him to produce a firmer answer.
The new text message, part of a batch retrieved by NI from Mrs Brooks' BlackBerry records, was sent on the eve of Mr Cameron's 2009 party conference speech and just days after the Sun announced it was switching its support from Labour. Mrs Brooks wrote: "I am so rooting for you tomorrow not just as a proud friend but because professionally we are definitely in this together."
While admitting his decision to take on Mr Coulson after his resignation as editor of the News of the World had come back to haunt him, the PM insisted he had been given the assurances he needed over phone hacking. Those pledges had also been accepted by the police, courts, a Parliamentary committee and the Press Complaints Commission, he insisted.
Officials had also backed his decision to assign power of the News Corporation bid for full control of BSkyB to the Culture Secretary in the wake of Business Secretary Vince Cable's secretly-recorded declaration of war on the Murdoch empire, Mr Cameron argued, adding: "I accept there was controversy but I think the backing of two permanent secretaries and a lawyer is quite a strong state of affairs."
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