George Osborne’s secret meeting with Murdoch clan at country estate | Politics | The Observer
Details of the Dorneywood sojourn are contained in a lengthy written statement to the Leveson inquiry submitted by Coulson, who appeared before it on Thursday. Listing his meetings with Brooks during his time working for Cameron, Coulson said: “My family and I also spent a weekend at Dorneywood in 2010 as a guest of George Osborne and his wife. Rebekah and her husband were also guests.”
Osborne has made public four meetings with Brooks during 2010, three of them definitely after the May general election. A spokesman for Osborne said he believed the Dorneywood meeting was one declared by Osborne as having taken place with Brooks in September 2010. The location was not specified, and it was listed by the chancellor as having been a merely “social” event.
News of the Murdoch plan to take full control of BSkyB first broke in June 2010, with News Corp informing the European commission in early November of its intention to buy the shares it did not already own.
Giving evidence to the inquiry on Friday, Brooks said that, after briefly discussing the BSkyB bid with Cameron at a dinner in December 2010, she had a more substantial conversation with Osborne at a restaurant that month.
The next day she emailed News Corp lobbyist Frédéric Michel saying that Osborne had expressed “total bafflement” at Ofcom’s latest response to the bid. But she was not asked, when in the witness box, about the weekend at Dorneywood or what was discussed there.