Just how close did the Tories fly to the Sun? | Politics | The Guardian
But Cameron’s June 2007 piece was symbolic for another reason: it appeared just days after Andy Coulson, who had resigned as News of the World editor, was appointed as the Tory spin doctor and less than a week after Rupert Murdoch met the future prime minister at News Corporation’s summer party in London.
From the prime minister to the chancellor George Osborne, the Sun has long been the newspaper of choice for leading politicians to speak to the nation. But details of meetings that only came to light this week cast fresh doubt on the assertion by Rupert Murdoch that his media empire has not enjoyed too cosy relations with the Conservative party over the past half decade.
At the height of the so-called “Sachsgate” scandal involving BBC presenters Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross in October 2008, Cameron and his wife had dinner with James Murdoch, his partner Kathryn Hufschmid, and William and Ffion Hague in London. The couples discussed “topical subjects” and politics, according to documents submitted to the Leveson inquiry this week.
The following Monday Cameron provided a barbed comment piece for the Sun, strongly critical of the “bloated” BBC which he accused of “squeezing and crushing” commercial competitors online. The sentiment was echoed little more than a year later by dinner partner James Murdoch, who described the size of the BBC as “chilling” in an excoriating MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh TV festival in August 2009.