30 May 2012

Leveson Inquiry - Module 3 - Day 15 - K. Clarke and V. Cable

Module 3 - Key Questions to be addressed in this Module

Useful Links:
Leveson Inquiry Witness Statements HERE 
Leveson Inquiry Witness Lists HERE 

Video Recordings of each day's proceedings HERE

Live Feed From Leveson Inquiry Site HERE

BBC Democracy Live Feed HERE 
Guardian Live Blog HERE

Previous Hearing (Michael Gove and Theresa May)  HERE

Links to latest articles, comment and information relevant to the Leveson Inquiry:
Background on Coulson's Sherdian testimony: (Please credit "The Sheridan Trial Blog)
@JoshHalliday: - 10:26 a.m. :-
NEW Daily Mirror editor Richard Wallace and Sunday Mirror editor Tina Weaver made redundant as Trinity Mirror moves to 7-day publishing
Lloyd Embley, serving editor of the People, to edit Daily and Sunday Mirror. People will appoint new editor.

Guardian Live Blog HERE

From Guardian Live Blog:
Clarke entered government in 1985 under Margaret Thatcher and later held numerous cabinet positions, including health secretary, education secretary, home secretary and chancellor of the exchequer.
Clarke was described by the Labour MP Tom Watson last week as a "target MP" for the Sun because he is "prepared to make decisions not based on how it would be reported by tabloid newspapers".
Ken Clarke swearing in...
Beginning his testimony...
Mr Jay begins his questioning..
Clarke is looking very relaxed. Unlike other witnesses is leaning forward, arms folded for his fireside chat 
Clarke says he has had a "much reshuffled career" adding: "We will draw a veil over my various junior activities".
Clarke: I have the policy lead in government on 'no win no fee' CFAs.
Clarke: I was very attracted by Sir Rupert's proposals. I think justice in this country got too expensive for all participants.

Clarke discussing no win no fee cases & cutting costs (other witnesses have talked about reform making it harder to sue papers)

Guardian Live Blog:
Clarke opens by stating that he is the government's policy lead on so-called "no-win, no-fee" agreements, or conditional fee agreements (CFAs), in defamation cases. He says these have become "extraordinarly profitable" having originally been a good idea.
Clarke speaking about 'opening up' family courts, and pressure from parts of the press to go further for stories.
Clarke: We've had an ongoing discussion about family courts and whether they should be opened up, which has gone a certain way.
Clarke: Section of media wants to open up family courts so can get stories about children of celebrities, never going to get that.

Clarke: distinction where media have influence on media-based policy i.e. defamation. I regard that as legitimate lobbying
Clarke: newspaper eds/proprietors can at times drive a weak government like a flock of sheep before them
Clarke: the history of politics is a love-hate relationship between journalists and politicians. That's how it should be.

Clarke: The power of the press is now far greater than the power of Parliament.
Clarke: Everybody in politics knew then PM's wife had been having a torrid affair with a back bencher 30 years but never reported. 
 Clarke: The celebrity culture has one of its branches in the government and the politics of the country.

Clarke: politics now is a mass media-dominated activity, so is government. Not sure we've fully learned how to handle that
Clarke: many people driven away by politics because of the level of exposure
Clarke: key is what is public interest? What is there no right to conceal? How much confidentiality required for decision-making?
Clarke: does the law have a role in this? At what point does invasion of privacy justify legal intervention?

Clarke tells ‪#Leveson‬: whatever you come up with will be wildly controversial
Clarke to ‪#Leveson‬: whatever you decide, conclusions will be criticised from one side or the other wherever you put the line.

#leveson‬ says he's long known whatever he concluded wd be criticised

Clarke: When does private life become matter of public concern? Every case requires collective judgment as to where draw the line.
Clarke: Whatever you come up with will be wildly controversial but my answer to the question is: yes, we do need a regulator.
Clarke: Conclusions will be criticised from one side and the other wherever you put the line, but people will have job moving it.

Now discussing the Information Commissioner's Office
Clarke says ICO reports caused sense of exasperation because ICO could not do anything about them

Clarke: The legislative powers the IC has at the moment are very much confined in ability to take on responsibility to the press.
Clarke: I think whoever drafted the legislation was instructed to put in just about every possible constraint in relation to press.
Clarke: I was not attracted by the enhanced public interest defence, I'm not very keen on public interest defences at all.
Clarke: There is a public interest defence in the sense that you don't get prosecuted by CPS if they see no public interest.

Justice secretary Ken Clarke says he is "not keen" on public interest defence for data protection breaches 

Ken Clarke says waiting on ‪#leveson‬ inquiry recommendations to decide on prison sentences for data protection offences
Clarke: The Motorman files were pretty startling, think everyone knew private info readily available if prepared to pay for it.
Clarke: when 1st appointed Chancellor had to move bank account; journos were trying to bribe staff of branch where I had account  
Clarke: some responsible (for data breaches) have made v considerable amounts of money and could certainly pay a very considerable fine

Clarke: How far was it a desire for one reason or another, not to upset the people who were happily indulging in all this?
Clarke says when first made Chancellor, had to move bank account as was told journalists trying to bribe branch staff for details.  
Clarke: The scale of Motorman activity certainly shocked me, I had no idea it was going on on this monumental scale.  
Clarke: We would have had criminal police investigations if Budget ever got breached.  

Guardian Live Blog:
Jay turns to briefing of the press. Clarke confirms he has briefed the press on policy plans.
Ministers should engage with journalists to persuade and explain what they are doing, Clarke says.
He adds that "off the record" conversations involve a "much stronger steer" about government plans and that it has become "part of the system".
Clarke says this applies to all government departments except the chancellor, when he had a watertight operation because the information was economically sensitive.
Now on to draft defamation bill.
Clarke: media had a very legitimate interest in discussions of it   
Clarke ws: Goal in formulating draft [Defamation] Bill has been to balance out need for freedom of expression with protecting reps.
Now on to the Bribery Act
Clarke ws: Discussed CFA reform with Paul Dacre at Society of Editors meeting in June 2010. Clarke: Think journalists entitled to bribe in an extreme case if it’s only way they can get info about major public scandal.
Clarke: Received reps from NI, Newspaper Society, PA + SoE on media public interest defence to protect journalists making payments. 

Clarke: I accept the argument of journalists that they don't always stay within the law.

Guardian Live Blog:
Clarke is asked about the Bribery Act.
He says he was lobbied by media executives – including Paul Dacre, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail – in favour of a public interest exemption. He says there was no time to crowbar in such an exemption, but adds that he is generally opposed to public interest defences for journalists.
Journalists are entitled to bribe in an extreme case if it is the only way to publish information on a major national scandal, says Clarke.
Clarke: Would protect journalist disclosing criminal wrongdoing by MP but not sure pub int strong if about sex life of footballer.
Jay says Clarke has had a few meetings with the Mail and Paul Dacre. "We have quite a good mutual respect".

Clarke says he'd protect rights of journo who exposed MP tax fiddling, unsure public interest strong if abt sex life of footballer
Clarke: there are some journalists I won't go and have lunch with, some I will
Clarke: Think Mr Lebedev was rather interested to discover I'd previously been a director of the newspapers he now owned.
Clarke: With any luck, there's a broad body of MPs who believe extremely strongly in the freedom of the press + proper regulation.

Clarke: MPs who want to swoop in and take revenge on press are outnumbered by those terrified of upsetting newspapers
Explaining the way New Labour went too far with control of the press....
Clarke: Good journalist won't let you off lightly if you’ve made a mistake, idea of currying favour with press is waste of time.
Clarke: I don't give some journos stories before others myself but it is done
Clarke: I know one journalist who was barred from Treasury and told she would not be let in again because of stories she'd written.
Clarke: Started after 1997 when Labour came up and thought we’d all been terrible amateurs and introduced people with these skills.
Clarke: In the last 15-20 years there has been an obsession with newspapers which was not there before.

Clarke: in the end it's for politicians to decide how far they'll let a powerful group influence policy
Clarke: When taken to excess, terror of tabloids and subservience to media doesn’t give any success to the politician who does it.

Ken Clarke tells ‪#Leveson‬ power of media "should be diminished" while not curbing free expression
Clarke: Tony Blair had a good long run, partly helped by his opponents, which is how Margaret lasted so long.
Paraphrased: - Gordon Brown was totally obsessed by whether the Sun was going to back him, - should have been running the country...
Clarke: when it was obvious Gordon Brown was completely and utterly unelectable by anyone Sun transferred to us, we didn't win
Clarke: the politics of the last 15 years has been dominated by competition for support of the Sun newspaper.
Clarke: I don't think Sun ever had significant effect on any election in my lifetime, obviously thought by some to be important
Clarke: I share more jaundiced view that Murdoch/Sun good at changing sides when obvious the horse they’re riding about to collapse

Clarke: Don't think the Sun has ever had any great significant effect on the outcome of any election in my lifetime.
Clarke: Obviously it was thought by some to be terribly important and desperate lengths were gone to to fight over its support.
Clarke: Murdoch and the Sun very good at changing sides when it's obvious the horse they're riding is about to collapse. 

Clarke says criminal justice legislation driven by popular press, not prevailing public view that sentences shd be nastier

(statement of obvious that not all his party colleagues are at one with Ken Clarke on this)

Clarke: newspaper campaigns usually based on v partial account of shocking high-profile cases

Clarke: The clamour from particular newspapers for tougher and tougher Criminal Justice Act has been responded to.
Clarke: If the tone of newspapers had been different in the last 20 years, we'd have 30,000 fewer prisoners.

Clarke: Mail mounted a tremendous attack on my policy, wished to put my response in Mail
Clarke: Mail wrote an editorial ticking me off for trying to butter them up which was plainly what I was trying to do
Ken Clarke: occasionally I found myself bedfellow with political writers of the Daily Mail

Clarke: I don't agree with the Mail on many issues but isn't predictable like other right-wing popular press.
Clarke: Was being fired at from another direction, still think they were attacking me by putting interpretation on the proposals.

Clarke: deeply suspicious of state or government being in control of a regulatory system

Clarke told Society of Editors' annual conference in November 2011 - press watchdog must have "more convincing teeth".
Clarke: I've touched on the easy bit, like financial penalties. The difficult bit is retraction, apology, that kind of thing.

Clarke: I think we're all agreed now that whoever the regulator is must be totally independent of both government and press. 
Clarke: I do think 99% of people in this country genuinely believe in a free press.  
#Leveson‬: I have to say at least twice a day I'm absolutely with you [on freedom of the press]
Clarke: PCC I always thought was a joke, completely useless
 Clarke: journalists are getting almost as sensitive as politicians who think nobody loves them any more 

Clarke: The more start setting out specific powers, you are undoubtably going to have people refusing to comply with its orders.
Clarke: History shows that without teeth, in the end you're wasting your time, if some section of the printed media refuse to join.
#Leveson‬: Have been exploring third regulatory arm for small claim privacy, libel type actions, available to everybody.
Clarke: I find your idea very attractive.

Clarke says even a low cost complaints adjudicator could face thousands of thousands people seeking remedies
Clarke: public act with ferocious grief anger to things that are just now expressed in a way they like by papers 

#Leveson‬: The idea would be to encourage everybody to be able to get a speedier solution at little cost.
Clarke: The regulator might answer all our prayers and be able to regulate on a dispute in certain cases.  
Clarke: It's sometimes just the agreement that you're not going to do it again, which can be quite a valuable remedy.

Clarke: the only people who can take a newspaper to court are rich celebrities.

Clarke: My one worry is people are so sensitive you could produce thousands and thousands of people seeking a remedy.
#Leveson‬: Hope the risk you’ve identified wouldn’t be there, but it's very important to mention that and any other risk.

Clarke says he was threatened with legal action by Robert Maxwell; cost was petty cash to Maxwell says Clarke
#Leveson‬: Seeking to find reasons why press might actually see value of a swifter, cheaper, effective resolution.
Clarke says he will come back to the judge in writing - in a personal capacity - with more thoughts on CFAs/regulation.

Clarke: no paper will report my views on Europe accurately, factually, objectively
Clarke: but that's just a politician's moan, answer is to go on the radio and the television

Ken Clarke's evidence is complete.

Vince Cable      Witness Statement in Full

Guardian Live Blog HERE
From Guardian Live Blog:
The business secretary, Vince Cable, will today give detailed evidence about his handling of News Corporation's abandoned bid for BSkyB.
The Liberal Democrat minister was stripped of his responsibilities for the £8bn takeover bid in December 2010 after being secretly recorded by the Daily Telegraph saying he had "declared war" on Rupert Murdoch.
His controversial removal led to the handover of quasi-judicial oversight of the bid to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, who had previously expressed public support for the takeover to go ahead.
Cable is expected to be pressed on why his office appeared to shun all lobbying efforts by News Corp public affairs boss Frédéric Michel while he was in charge of the deal. His evidence is likely to bring fresh scrutiny on Hunt's handling of the bid between December 2010 and July 2011. Hunt will face a full day of questions at the inquiry tomorrow.
Vince Cable swearing in...
Preparing to answer questions.
Mr Jay begins his questioning of Vince Cable..
Cable says as a city councillor he was conscious about what quasi-judicial responsibilities meant.
Cable: You have your views but you set this aside when you have to make decisions, and you judge on the facts and evidence.
Cable: Most mergers + takeovers dealt with by Competition Commission and do not involve political process (unless public interest).
Cable: News Corp lawyers took view high threshold had to be met, but I was advised a low threshold was necessary.
Cable: "I wasn't involved in that stage of the process" [when Jay refers to UILs on referral of bid to Competition Commission].
Cable: Most people in public life have views. If a politician, those opinions have been on the record, have to set those aside.

Cable: important to note that in this process there are legal checks & balances built in at every stage
Cable: Actions subject to advice from officials + departmental lawyers, legal action could be taken if decision was made with bias.
Cable first aware of News Corp's bid for remaining BSkyB shares on 15 June 2010, when it was officially announced.
Cable: Had been notified by James Murdoch in November 2010 of the intention to proceed but took view no urgency about process.

Cable : actively sought the view of Lib Dem colleagues on BSkyB decision
Cable: Had no background in media policy so sought views of colleagues who had acted as spokespersons in the area.
Cable: Asked Lord Oakeshott to assemble of group of people to give me general advice on economic and business policy.
Cable: Did not discuss BSkyB with this advisory group, it wasn't appropriate. Didn't speak to Chris Huhne or Simon Hughes either.
Cable: I saw issues of policy as quite separate from the quasi-judicial decision.
Cable: Aware James Murdoch wanted to meet with me, also lobby groups.
Cable had representations from TUC, BBC, Enders, GMG, TMG, Slaughter & May group, BT, News Corp and Capital Research Management.
Cable replied to submissions in writing, explained power to intervene restrained by law and would be referred to ECMR.
Cable: Intervention seemed unlikely due to News Corp's control over BSkyB but views evolved.
Cable: Main arguments - increased scope for Sky News + NI to reflected same news agenda and News Corp increased market share.
[Jay setting up BSkyB process in detail, will be relevant tomorrow when Jeremy Hunt gives his evidence. ‪#Leveson‬]

Cable: had News Corp deal gone through new owners could have replaced management and influenced choice of editors 
Counsel advised News Corp unlikely to challenge SoS decision to intervene, real possibility party would challenege decision not to.
Cable: BSkyB was an independent news generator, a change in ownership and editorial policy could have quite wide ramifications.

Cable says problems for plurality were 1) reduced number of outlets and 2) 100% ownership could make it possible for new owners >> >> to replace management and influence choice of editors

Cable issued intervention notice on 4 November. Says transparency key element of the process.
Cable ws: As a politician I believe the Murdoch's political influence exercised through newspapers become disproportionate.
Cable says his views on News Corp were "actually quite nuanced".
Jay refers to a note of Cable's conversation with James Murdoch on 15 June 2010.
Cable: JM conversation was very carefully thought through in advance and there was no off-the-cuff opinion on the merger.

Cable: spoke to James Murdoch on phone, declined invite to News Int drinks reception, declined Fred Michel offer of meeting  
Cable: Turned down NI drinks reception night after JM conversation, didn't seem appropriate.
Cable: Name Fred Michel didn’t register on my radar but I was aware that there was a request to have a meeting.
‪ Cable: Had a meeting with (Times ed) James Harding, talked about wider political issues. Described formal position.

Vince says he met Times editor on Dec 9 11 in his office. Bid came up, Harding commented on News C's "considerable contribution to economy" 
[James Harding/Cable meeting 9 December 2010, JH said he was not representing News Corp.
Cable: Became aware J Murdoch and Michel arranged meeting with Lord Oakeshott, and so asked BAG to be disbanded to avoid bias.
Cable: Not aware of any attempt by Jeremy Hunt to speak to me about bid.
Jay asks about SpAds. Giles Wilkes (Cable advisor) didn't have any responsibilities in relation to the bid.

No other minister lobbied me on Sky bid. Policy special adviser had no role on bid - unlike adam smith. Cable took minimal direction.
Cable: I certainly didn't give (my SpAd) any responsibilities in bid consideration

Cable: Didn't give SpAds any responsibility on bid, were made aware of the sensitivity of the issue and Priv Sec explained that.
Cable: Aware Michel attempted to set up interview + contacted Wilkes through email. He declined, knowing my feelings on the matter.
[Cable's description of Wilkes and SpAds in general quite a contrast to all we've heard so far on Hunt's office. ‪#Leveson‬]
Cable: Confident didn't say to Michel "would not be policy issue in this case". Officials listening + would have taken me to task
Cable ws: Disagree Ministers should be removed from process if motives would be questioned(as were mine) whatever decision reached.
Cable denies he said to Michel deal wouldn't change market plurality (as FM told JM in July 2010 email).

Cable: no idea who @Peston's sources were for his intervention notice story
Cable: Would have been happy to talk to J Murdoch about areas of common interest once bid was over.
Cable: I didn’t know what Mr Hunt’s view was, so I don’t know where that came from [Michel claim he was aligned with Hunt's view].

Guardian Live Blog:
The inquiry hears that Michel also interpreted a conversation with the Lib Dem MP Dom Foster, in which Foster was said to be "relaxed about the bid decision".
Foster was not invovled in the decision, which is why he was likely to be relaxed, Cable tells Leveson.
Michel email 8/10/10 refers to meeting Cable adviser. He said "changing narrative in main media would help him politically a lot".
Cable saying he doesn't know who the unnamed adviser referenced in Michel emails is. 
Cable says Michel claim he spoke to Lord Oakeshott 10 times a day is "wildly inaccurate".
Cable ws: Whatever personal frustrations or difficultie have with coverage would not argue for weakening the freedom of the press.
Cable ws: The PCC has been often criticised but in the one instance I have sought to use it, it was fair and efficient.
To Vince Cable: - 'Is this type of lobbying acceptable?'
Cable says contrary to Michel email (18/10/100, he doesn't think any Labour or Lib Dem MPs wrote to him about the bid.
Cable: "I didn't know we had one" [when Jay asks about Lib Dem MP and former Sky employee referenced in Michel email].
Cable: I'm totally mystified as to who this is.
Cable: Whoever was trying to help Mr Michel wasn't very helpful, issued intervention notice on day apparently said "put good case".

Cable: my SpAds weren't authorising or facilitating meetings with themselves or with me

Cable: Confident my SpAds were telling Michel they/I couldn't meet him but plausible they asked him to put issues in writing.

[Issue with Cable SpAds - which ‪#Leveson‬ unlikely to go into - whether Michel exaggerated contact or they weren't as cautious as VC thinks.]
#Leveson‬ says it's abundentaly clear the unnamed adviser is Wilkes as Michel sent documents to his email, as discussed earlier.
Cable denies having conversations pre 21 Dec 10 on merits of bid with Hunt, Osborne, Clegg, Cameron. Only briefed Clegg on timing.
Vince Cable explaining the circumstances surrounding the 'waging war on Murdoch' Telegraph sting.
Jay moves on to Telegraph sting, when Cable recorded saying "I've declared war on Mr Murdoch. I think we’re going to win."
Cable accepts comments but is "an edited version of quite a long conversation, based on a disembodied voice out of context".
Cable says at the time was a near riot taking place outside of his constituency office, was struggling to keep his temper.  

Cable: did offload onto (undercover reporters) a lot of pent up feelings... in language I wouldn't normally use
Well, lucky old Telegraph reporters to get into to see Cable moments after he had been monstered by protesters, eh?
Cable: reports from significant numbers of parliamentary colleagues having had ivs with Michel & possibly others
Cable: heard there had been veiled threats that if I made the wrong decision my party wd be done over in the News Int press  

Cable says he offloaded onto reporters (posing as constituents) pent up feelings in what he thought was a private conversation.
(Cable caveats his words but gets to heart of the Inquiry - allegation a news org used its editorial might for commercial gain)
Cable on "empire under attack": Describing a factual situation there was great deal of controversy at that time around the company.
Cable: I certainly know one individual but he told me in confidence and I don’t want to breach that [on who communicated threats].

Daily Telegraph Censured by PCC OverVince Cable Tapes - Guardian

Cable says it wasn't his intention to halt takeover but have it properly reviewed by regulator
Cable says he acted properly and impartially by putting the matter in the hands of the regulator.

Cable - news corp trying to politicise bid process and build a case against him...
Cable: I was conscious that by putting the matter in the hands of regulators, contrary to NC interests, would have repercussions.
Cable: I was deliberately and consciously keeping my private views separate from the decision I had to make
[On Vince Cable sting, see Tony Gallagher evidence (p18): . ‪‬]
Cable: Where is genuine public interest choice to make, I think it is appropriate in a democracy that we involve politicians.
#Leveson‬ testing the limits of objectivity in judicial/quasi-judicial decisions.
#Leveson‬: I just wonder whether we’re asking too much of our politicians who have gone through the fire of political campaigning... …and had to cope with this sort of publicity,to be able wholly to put aside visceral reactions when deciding the matter judicially.

From Guardian Live Blog:
Lord Justice Leveson says that when the press is involved people will have opinions and it becomes difficult to separate personal from professional views.
He asks whether the public is expecting too much of politicians who have gone through the campaign fire to be able to put aside personal views when making professional decisions.
Cable says his self-discipline broke down momentarily in Telegraph interview, but was otherwise maintained.

#Leveson‬ suggests politicians could have ability to make strongest reps on policy considerations,then fit into framework of legal decision.
From Guardian Live Blog:
Cable admits his self-discipline "broke down momentarily", but that he did follow a prescribed process overall, taking advise from lawyers onf officials.
I would not be comfortable with abandoning a complex arrangement with something which seeks comfort ... in a purely judicial route.
Cable says politicians have been progressively removed from business competition decisions, but there is a "small residue" left over to deal with cases in the national interest.
"In practice, the issue is whether he have chosen the right areas to ringfence for semi-political [oversight]," he adds.
Cable: Certainly understand and respect your argument but this can be achieved if there are checks, balances and legal protections.
Cable: understand in my case remarks I made created a perception of bias, doesn't mean I would have been biased
Cable: Understand in my case that remarks I made did create a perception of bias + therefore made it difficult for me to continue.

Guardian Live Blog:
Leveson says that the correspondence between Michel and government departments suggests "external influences" were in play, posing the question whether politicians are too exposed to have responsibility for such big business decisions.
Cable says it is an important democratic function carried out by elected people, but believes this should be achieved with appropriate "checks, balances and legal protections".
Cable: Telegraph hostile to Coalition, all Lib Dem ministers subject to intervention in private conversations with constituents.
Cable's meetings Jun 10 - Jul 11 inc. FT summer party, ITV, Telegraph eds, Harding (Times), BBC, Dacre, ST, NS and Rusbridger.
Mr Rhodri Davies asking questions of Vince Cable about his evidence...
News Int lawyer rises (not particularly surprisingly considering his allegations)

Davies: Is it really wrong to meet with News Corp to hear arguments and reassure them you understood points?
Cable says, again, he wanted to avoid perception of bias. If he conceded to one party would have to do for others.
Davies says Michel email shows News Corp were being told Cable under political pressure from Labour/Lib Dems.
Cable: I just had to deal with the facts as they presented themselves. Was not judging the case that way.
Davies: Without knowing who is supposed to have been threatened and when, it's difficult for Michel to respond to allegations?
Cable: I was explaining my own reactions and not seeking to build up a case against Mr Michel.

Cable won't id the person who told him Michel made veiled threat, doesn't have record of meeting, can't say when it was exactly

Vince Cable's evidence is complete.

From Guardian Live Blog:
Here is a lunchtime summary of Vince Cable's evidence to the Leveson inquiry:
• Cable claims he was told that News Corp lobbyist Frédéric Michel made "veiled threats" to Lib Dem colleagues over BSkyB bid.
• He told the inquiry he was "seriously disturbed" and felt "under siege" by News Corp approaches to Lib Dem colleagues while he had responsibility for £8bn takeover.
• A News Corp lawyer questioned the source of "veiled threat" remarks and said it was difficult for Michel to respond.
• Rupert Murdoch had "disproportionate influence" on British politics and was too close to some politicians, said Cable.
• Cable felt it was not necessary to meet News Corp about BSkyB deal; special advisers had no involvement.
• Andy Coulson has been detained by Strathclyde police over perjury allegations.
• The Daily and Sunday Mirror editors have been sacked as the titles go seven-day.