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We shouldn't be seen together': David Cameron had two undisclosed meetings with Rebekah Brooks in which they sent warning texts, new book claims

Original Source: MAIL: 09 MAY 2012
By Daniel Martin
PUBLISHED: 09:54, 9 May 2012 | UPDATED: 17:16, 9 May 2012
  • Updated biography of PM said Cameron messaged Brooks days before she quit News International

  • Contact between the two friends came to 'abrupt halt' after her resignation

  • But PM sent a messenger to apologise for his sudden coldness - to say that Ed Miliband had him on the run

  • Brooks is due to give evidence to the Leveson inquiry on Friday


David Cameron held two meetings with News International's Rebekah Brooks, which were not included on the official Downing Street list of such contacts, a book claimed last night.


At one meeting, they apparently texted each other to make sure they were not seen together.


The Prime Minister also texted Mrs Brooks to tell her to ‘keep her head up’ just days before she resigned as chief executive over phone hacking, it has been revealed.


An updated biography of the Prime Minister said Mr Cameron told Mrs Brooks, who is due to give evidence at the Leveson inquiry on Friday, that she would get through her difficulties in the week of her resignation.

Friends: David Cameron and Rebekah Wade at a book launch in 2009. An updated biography of the PM claims he texted the former News International chief executive just days before she resigned

Contact between the two friends came to an ‘abrupt halt’ after she stepped down.

However, the PM sent a messenger to Mrs Brooks to apologise for his sudden coldness - telling her that Ed Miliband had him on the run.


The biography’s authors also claim that Mr Cameron asked the Metropolitan Police to open a review into the Madeleine McCann case in May 2011 as a favour for Mrs Brooks


The further revelations about Mr Cameron’s closeness with the former News of the World editor will add to questions about the Prime Minister’s judgement.


The pair are both members of the so-called Chipping Norton set - friends and neighbours who live in south Oxfordshire.


 It has already emerged that the PM had ridden a horse named Raisa loaned to Mrs Brooks by the Metropolitan Police.



Close: Mr Cameron embraces the former News of the World editor at a party


Attending the infamous Christmas dinner with Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch at which the BSkyB bid was discussed was a mistake, David Cameron confessed two weeks ago.

The Prime Minister insisted he made no 'grand deal' with the pair in exchange for their media empire's support for the Tories.

Mr Cameron admitted having a conversation with Mr Murdoch over his father Rupert's proposed takeover of BSkyB at a party at the Oxfordshire home of Mrs Brooks, who is now on police bail in the phone-hacking investigation.

His remarks came amid claims Mrs Brooks, a senior executive at Rupert Murdoch's News International, is ready to disclose all private email and text message exchanges with Mr Cameron.

The dinner party took place on December 23, 2010, just two days after Business Secretary Vince Cable was stripped of responsibility for adjudicating on the BSkyB deal after boasting of having 'declared war' on the Murdoch empire.

Mr Cameron claimed he did not recall the exact details of his conversation with James Murdoch, but said it concerned the controversy over Mr Cable.

The book, Cameron: Practically A Conservative details how Mr Cameron and Mrs Brooks would often ‘pop round to one another’s houses’.


The authors, Francis Elliott of The Times and James Hanning of The Independent on Sunday, said: ‘The wider public might have liked to know too of the text message that Charlie Brooks told friends Cameron sent to Brooks at the beginning of the week in which she resigned, telling her to keep her head up and she’d get through her difficulties.


‘Such contact came to an abrupt halt soon afterwards, with Brooks not wanting to embarrass Cameron and he wanting to be able to say, hand on heart, that they had not been in touch.


‘But it was claimed that Cameron did send an emissary to Brooks to mitigate his sudden coldness towards her. The gist of the message was, “Sorry I couldn’t have been as loyal to you as you have been to me, but Ed Miliband had me on the run”.’


The book also includes a frank assessment by a Cabinet minister of the relationship between governments and News International in general and Mrs Brooks in particular.

‘If you are on the same side as her, you have to see her every week,’ said Oliver Letwin. ‘This was how it worked.’


The book, which will be serialised in The Times, also says royal courtiers told Mr Cameron’s team that Buckingham Palace would think poorly of a decision to take former News of the World editor Andy Coulson into Downing Street.


Mrs Brooks, pictured with her News International boss Rupert Murdoch, is due to give evidence to the Leveson inquiry on Friday


Book: Cameron - Practically A Conservative details how the Prime Minister and Mrs Brooks would often 'pop round to one another's houses'

In May 2011, Mr Cameron asked Scotland Yard to open a review into the Madeleine McCann case, a cause supported by The Sun, also owned by News International.


The Prime Minister’s move angered senior police officers at the Met.


The authors suggest that a debt was being repaid for The Sun’s decision to back the Conservatives at the 2010 general election.


‘There was definitely a feeling that Rebekah felt the PM owed them,’ the authors quote someone intimately involved.


Sources at No 10 told The Times that the decision on the McCann case had been taken on its merits.


‘This was something the Government believed in,’ said the source. ‘Just because a newspaper champions a cause doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do.’


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