11 May 2012

Leveson Inquiry - Module 3 - Day 3 - Rebekah Brooks

The Relationship Between the Press and Politicians

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
Telegraph Live Blog HERE 
Links to latest articles, comment and information relevant to the Inquiry:
Pantomime horse outside RCJ this morning - via @The MediaTweets
Today's Evening Standard front page

NI and HMG collaborating over the BSkyB bid is bad enough but over hacking? That's reprehensible:

News Intl are asking for a right of reply to Jay's opening statement to Module 3 [not suprised as Jay was v critical of Rupert Murdoch]
Leveson was reluctant, but has granted it. NI will reply to Jay on Monday morning.

Mr White, for NI, asks for opportunity to address Inquiry in reply to Mr Jay's Opening remarks

 Friday May 11th 2012

Today's Witness:
Rebekah Brooks

Rebekah Brooks    Witness Statement #1      Witness Statement #2



Guardian Live Blog HERE
Telegraph Live Blog HERE  
Mr Jay begins today's hearing
Rebekah Brooks preparing answers to Mr Jay's questions

Jay makes clear that Brooks is under police investigation on three counts: phone hacking; corruption; perverting course of justice.
Brooks is relying on her old PA's desk diary, she says. More of a flavour than a precise diary.
Says she had some indirect msgs from politicians. Some Tories a couple of Labour politicians. Very few politicians.
Jay asks her to be more specific. Says msgs from No. 10, No. 11, Home Office, Foreign Office. V few Labour. But Blair did. Not Brown.
Gordon Brown was "probably getting the bunting out" when I quit, Brooks said.
Brooks confirms Cameron sent her a "keep your head up" msg. Jay asks how papers got story. Brooks: Journalists doing their job.
Rupert is more interested in The Sun but also took interest in NotW when I was there, Brooks said.
Murdoch was aware of my political views. Esp on matters such as Europe, even before I was editor of NotW.
She lists things on which she and Rupert differed such as immigration and green issues. I liked more celebrities in the papers.
Rupert was "not being totally literal when he said look at Sun editorial to understand my thinking" 
Brooks says in her statement if you want to know what nation is talking about, look at The Sun. Jay contrast this with Rupert remark. 
Brooks: 2m people more read The Sun than the Daily Mail. Jay: you assume nation is homogenous, but it isn't. More readers, more diversity.
Brooks: I accept that, but I meant conversation in pub or at work during Man Utd/City game, that was what was in the Sun.
Brooks says it is myth that editors and proprietors are an unelected force. We are not elected officials.

Her blackberry was 'imaged' - had about 6 weeks emails and month texts, probs with process 
No emails/texts from Cameron Osborne on Blackberry when she left, one from DC 'compressed' so unreadable
Brooks: Indirect message from DC along lines of keep your head up & sorry but Ed M had me on run
(ie pretty much stands up Times scoop on texts)
Brooks: disagreed with R Murdoch about margins of quite a few political issues - environment, DNA database, immigration, top up fees
Brooks: readers' views were always reflected in any policy, politician, political party
BRooks: R Murdoch shouldn't be taken literally when he said for his views read Sun editorials 

RB: No emails or text from either Mr Cameron or Mr Osborne on BB at the time left NI.
RB: Some messages of commiseration from politicians, indirectly, from No 10/11, Home Office, Foreign Office + very few Labour.
RB: I think Mr Murdoch is probably more interested in the Sun in terms of political issues. 

So no contact with politicians through her personal account or phone. Only her NI ones. And only a month's worth of txts recovered

Looks like News International not Ms Wade holds the smoking texts

Does anybody seriously believe R Brooks was hired by Murdoch for her political views or acumen!? 
Brooks finally accepted that on all the big issues the Sun reflected Murdoch's view
Brooks #Leveson: NoW appointment as editor - told by Hinton rather than Murdoch. It was Hinton's 'strong recommendation'
Brooks #Leveson: she strongly recommended Dominic Mohan as her successor as Sun editor because he had done good job as her deputy

It is the interests of our readers we try to engage in. The readers can unelect us, she says, [echoing Rupert last month]
[Leveson is interested in where truth lies of whether papers lead readers or vice versa] Brooks: You can present issues to readership.
She agrees you can present issues with attitude [disagrees with Jay's *spin*] but changes it to "perception".
She invites Jay to ask her about her 40th birthday present from Rupert. It has been reported it was a very valuable painting. He doesnt ask.
Brooks says it was James Murdoch's idea to make her chief exec of News Int. Says she was interested in commercial future or papers.
We have to analyse and prove information. Jay says: But you were on Blair's side, so you don't need to check?
Brooks says: I wasn't on either side of Brown v Blair. I was on the side of my readers. She says she was friends with Sarah Brown.Not Gordon
Jay is pressing Brooks whether she took sides in the Brown/Blair feud. She is suggesting it wasn't clear cut. [will surprise many]

Brooks: R Murdoch's contact at Notw was more limited than at Sun or other papers
Brooks: not true she used to swim with R Murdoch 
Jay says his info is from "various sources" - Brooks - "you need better sources"
Brooks: R Murdoch hosted surprise 40th birthday party at his house, Blair was there, Cameron possibly was
Brooks: became friendly with Blair, but no text or email (Blair famously had no mobile) 
RB: Agree Coulson would have spoken to Murdoch infrequently. Contact more limited at NoW than the Sun.
RB on KRM's "this one" comment: I wasn’t embarrassed at the time because I didn’t know that that’s what he meant.
RM admits becoming friendly with Tony Blair, says any comms over a landline as he didn't have mobile.
RB: I actually think that Gordon Brown and Charlie Wheeler were masters of spin more than Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell.
RB: If politician puts friendship with a media exec or a media company in front of professional duties, then that is their failing.

Brooks: the point of New Labour embracing media in different way was they felt they had a very big story to tell
Brooks: a "constant presence" doesn't mean you don't hold politicians to account

From Guardian Live Blog:
Brooks is asked about her relationship with Blair and Brown.
She says that hostilities between Brown and Blair became "increasingly worse" in the latter years of Blair's premiership.
But whose side was she on? "Neither. On the side of the readers. It was our job to judge and analyse."
You've told us you were friends with Mr Blair. Friends with Brown?
"I was friends with Sarah Brown, an amazing lady. So probably not."
She concedes taking Blair's side over the famous "curry house coup" in which the then prime minister and Brown struck a deal over who would be his successor.
"In the end, particularly, we were on the side of Mr Blair," she says.
It wasn't a playground spat, we were a newspaper looking after the real serious concerns of our readers. It wasn't that I would stand in one corner of the playground and Alan Rusbridger would stand in the other. It wouldn't work like that.
Jay - were stories fed to you? Brooks: Trevor (Kavanagh) and I had some good sources

[I wonder what Brooks has got agst @GPW_Portland who she did not name check when praising Sun political editors?]
Brooks says they didn't take sides and that they didn't get fed scoops in return for political support.

Jay and Brooks are now exchanging barbs as to how their assertions and denials are sourced. "We can play this game all day," she says.
Rb: In the famous curry house coup, I think we did take Mr Blair's side because the country was on ice because of the hostilities
RB desk diaries show 18 meetings/dinners with Tony Blair between 1998-2005.
RB: Up until quite late in my editorship of the Sun most of those dinners will have been attended by political editors.
Another 12 dinners/meetings between Blair and RB 2005-2007. 5 meetings/dinners with Brown 07-2009 + one call.
RB: [Wendi Murdoch, Elisabeth Murdoch, Sarah Brown and I] all knew each other, but we didn’t meet as a group very often. 


Jay refuses to name his source to Brooks. She suggests must be J Prescott. "We can play ts game all day" she says

[Brooks is becoming increasingly confident, almost cocky. She has got into stride and overcome early nerves.]
Leveson intervenes. What did you do to discover the views of your readers that you say you were representing? Brooks sd she got a lot of feedback from readers esp on Europe and Afghanistan.
[For what it is worth, I think the Sun was probably more in tune with its readers than most papers.]

RB: Sun's position not overwhelming support for Tories but had a few major issues causing us to fall out with Brown's government.


Back at #Leveson with Jay questioning Rebekah Brooks on David Cameron.
RB: I probably said "well done" when Andy Coulson told me about his No 10 appointment. Wasn't surprised at all.
RB: Wasn't consulted on arrangements for Cameron Santorini meeting in Aug 2008.
RB on Santorini: It was a very cordial meeting and it went well. It lasted for either an afternoon or an evening.
RB: The Brooks family had a family connection with the Camerons before I came along [but accepts she become friends with DC].
5 lucnhes/dinners 2009-10 at homes of either James and Kathryn Murdoch, David and Samantha Cameron or Rebekah and Charlie Brooks.
Jay asking Brooks what her reaction was to Coulson's job w/ Conservative Party. Says she was pleased for him

Brooks family had a link to the Camerons before I came along, Rebekah says. But she accepts he became her friend too.
Brooks says her evidence on meetings with Brown comes from an incomplete list.
Jay asks when Brooks knew that Sun was shifting its allegiance to Tories. She says she, Rupert and James began discussions in June 2009.
[date of those discussions seem earlier than Murdochs said, if I remember right.]

RB declares 16 lunches, meetings, drinks, dinners with Cameron fm '06 to Jan '10
Rebekah Brooks is asked about polling Sun readership
RB: In June [2009] the main discussion was that we had lost things to support Gordon Brown’s government on and what did that mean.
RB: We didn't tell anyone the timing of Sun's support switch. Cameron knew it would happen but not told the timing. 
The timing was a matter of discussion with me, Dominic Mohan, the political team there, and James and Rupert Murdoch.

Says Sun has many floating voters..[Jay cuts her off rather impatiently because "we know all this"]
Brooks I think we had one dinner where there were some military chiefs. We didn't tell anyone timing of change of support.
Cameron prob knew that it would happen after drink with James Murdoch [at The George] but not on the timing. Don't know what he was told.
Timing was not a conversation we had with David Cameron or his advisers, Brooks tells Leveson.

Brooks: didn't tell anyone about timing of Sun switching to Cons
RB points out Dominic Mohan involved in conversations also. Jay asks scathingly: Was he contributing much to this debate or not?
RB: The Sun has always done dramatic endorsements, we didn't see it in the terms you're couching it in.

General courtesy, it was right thing to do. Brown and wife were due to come to NI party that night and wanted to get hold of them first.
Brooks left msgs for Brown and Mandelson for Brown to speak to him urgently. Eventually spoke to Mandelson.
Brooks sd Mandelson was angry but not surprised. "Chump can be quite an offensive word"[Brooks claims Mandy sd NI were "c*n*s" not "chumps"]
Brooks says she remembers conversation with Brown "quite clearly". [this is not a construction we've heard much of recently]
Conversation with Brown was "private". But it was v aggressive. He was hurt by story about his handwritten letter to mother of dead soldier.

Defending the accusation from Jay that the Sun goes for personal attacks
Brooks: doesn't make clear whether L Mandelson called her a chump or something more Anglo Saxon when Sun switched support 
Background to that letter - Sun story GB apology / words afterwards

Brooks #Leveson: I call to Brown, he was hurt and aggressive over Sun story about his letter to bereaved mother of dead soldier
Brooks #Leveson: she denies Sun goes in for personal attacks on politicians [oh, Rebekah, get real!]
Brooks #Leveson: politicians don't live in fear of newspaper power - that's like saying they live in fear of power of readership

RB: Thought Mr Brown’s concerns Sun coverage was going to be a personal attack understandable and I thought that would be wrong.

Brooks says it was "an extraordinarily aggressive conversation" between her and Brown. [It's v British that we aren't told content of it]
Metier of The Sun is prying intrusively into people's lives, isn't it, says Jay, [stretching the vocab again] Brooks demurs.
We hold politicians to account. Your premise was this was the culture and I was disputing that. Brooks tells Jay.
Was the Brown moment a manifestation of the power papers like The Sun can do, making personal attacks? Jay asks.
I don't think politicians live in fear of papers. They are highly-motivated, ambitious people. MPs don't scare easily, Brooks says.
Idea that Cameron texted her 12 times a day was "preposterous". Thank goodness, she said. He had better things to do with time.
During election campaign more, but on average she texted Cam or got texts "maybe once a week".
"Maybe twice a week" during election campaign. Some if not majority were to do with organising meetings or calls/social occasions.

RB: I would text Mr Cameron and vice versa on occasion, on average one a week. Twice a week during election campaign.

I didnt text Gordon Brown. Everyone wants to know how were Cam texts signed off. Can you help? Leveson says "Why [are you asking?" 
Cam signed off LOL for "Lots of Love" until I told him it meant "Laugh Out Loud".
Did you make phone calls to constituency home. Brooks: No actually, no.
Did Cam say we can't be seen at Heythrop point to point? I have been there. My husband is chairman. DC has been too. What was question?
She asks which date. Jay says it was in the Times. B: I read that. It is true that we didn't meet up. But he did meet up with my husband.
Brooks did go to private birthday party of Cam in Oct 2010.
Brooks said she did discuss the first Guardian story in July 09 with Cameron B:On occasion, it was a sort of constant.In most general terms.
She remembers a conversation with Cam about hacking in 2010. [she is concerned that she might breach orders on what to say about hacking]
Was Cam concerned that it went beyond Goodman and Mulcaire? Probably yes. B: It was a conversation about the increase in civil cases.
Was it related to the hiring of Mr Coulson. Was he having second thoughts. Brooks Not in that instance. [NB]
J: In any other instance. B: No. J: Are you sure. B: Yes. [Intriguing why she used that phrasing]
[Burford Priory is Matthew Freud and Elisabeth Murdoch's home]
RB: I don’t think I had any direct contact [with Cameron on Jul 11 Guardian story]. Did discuss hacking allegations from Jul 09. 

David Cameron asked Rebekah Brooks about phone hacking in October 2010, inquiry hears. Was it about this?

Rebekah was told about the bid shortly before the announcement. Before the election. [ie May 5 2010. Bid was June 15]
Brooks had only an informal role in the bid, just a countervoice in a very large opposition.

Brooks says she heard the term Rubicon - codename for Sky bid - when she was told about it, "maybe couple of months before" it was announced
Brooks asked if she raised the bid with Cameron in October 2010 - No, she says. It was mentioned at the Dec 23 dinner at Brooks home
Bid was mentioned at dinner but not widely discussed. Mentioned because it was in the news - Cable had just acted in breach of duty.

Brooks says did have informal bid in BSkyB bid after formation of anti-bid alliance
Brooks: would waste no opportunity in putting our (NewsCorp) case on the (BSkyB) deal #leveson but not sure was of any value
Brooks: Blair complained about attitude on Europe, Home Secs complained about campaigns 

Brooks #Leveson: she talked with Cherie Blair about coverage, which Cherie thought was sexist
Brooks #Leveson: I was close to Rupert Murdoch and he trusted me implicitly
Jay: Did politicians ever complain to you privately about Sun coverage? RB: Yes, ocassionally. If someone felt it was unfair.
RB: Paid McCann serialisation cost "maybe" half a million [not a million as Jay says inquiry has been told]. 

Jay: some MPs might have been afraid of you? RB: I don't see politicians as easily scared

From Guardian Live Blog:
Jays asks whether Brooks believes that British politicians thought she had influence over Murdoch.
"No. Politicians did want to get access to the editor of the Sun and his or her team as much as possible. But I don't think people thought to get to Mr Murdoch they had to get through me," she says.
"I always examined the ulterior motives of politicians. I thought it was pretty obvious – I don't know a politician who would turn down a meeting with a senior journalist from any broadcaster or newspaper... it's been the same case for decades."
Politicians were keen to put their case to Sun executives because of the large readership of the paper, she says.
Jay asks if it was important for Brooks to build friendships with senior politicians.
Brooks says that "some friendships were made" but politicians never forgot she was a journalist and she never forgot they were a politician.
Did she feel you had personal power over politicians?
"I just didn't see it like that. I saw my role as editor of the Sun as a very responsible one."
Jay suggests that she was aware of her ability to be empathetic with people.
"I hope to be empathetic, yes," she says, after Jay reassures her that he is not suggesting anything sinister.
RB: Paid McCann serialisation cost "maybe" half a million [not a million as Jay says inquiry has been told].
RB: Left it to eds to execute campaign. Jay: I've been told you threatened to put T May on the front page of the Sun everyday.
#Leveson: Were you part of strategy involving your paper putting pressure on gov with this sort of implied threat? RB: Threat too strong.
A sceptical Mr. Jay!
Brooks says she remembers discussing Human Rights Act over a dinner with Dominic Grieve 
RB: Did not tell Cameron to "move" Dominic Grieve. Cam/Osb at pains to explain Grieve's view not theirs and wanted to repeal HRA.
LJ Leveson asking Rebekah Brooks whether she understands public suspicion about too much closeness between press and politicians
From Guardian Live Blog:
Jay asks about Dominic Grieve, the former shadow home secretary.
Over dinner, Brooks once spoke to him about the Human Rights Act (HRA). He was in favour of it and she was not, Jay says.
Brooks says Grieve believed the Tory pledge to replace the HRA with a British bill of rights "should not be so easily promised".
The dinner conversation was "quite heated" as he did not toe the party line on the future of the act, she says.
"I did not tell Mr Cameron to move him," Brooks says, pressed by Jay. "They [Grieve's shadow cabinet colleagues] were concerned that his view was not to be taken seriously."
Brooks maintains she did not give Cameron any advice on Grieve. Cameron and Osborne were "at pains" to tell Brooks that Grieve was mistaken and that he did not share that view, she adds.
Lunch Break

Brooks doesn't remember making a lewd remark to Chris Bryant MP about his sexuality. Jay also asking about persecution of Tom Watson

Brooks denies she forced to write untrue stories about

Brooks denies using The Sun as an unfair means of disparaging politicians she doesn't like.
In witness statement Brooks says she often defended the bid. People often said News INTL, not News Corp was bidding for Sky.
Anti Sky bid alliance had so many members and were seeing so many politicians. [that group says they didn't have any mtgs with govt]

Brooks says she did have conversation with Osborne in 2010 but not with Cameron beyond what already said this morning.
Cam was being lobbied by lots of people. Not particularly supportive of the bid, no, but he understood why we wanted to put our side.
Osborne never explicitly said he supported the bid. We tried to make point that level of investment was good for UK. Osborne also neutral.

Jay asks about Chris Bryant MP (has told inquiry Brooks asked him "shouldn't you be out on Clapham Common by now?" in 2004).
RB denies then-husband (Ross Kemp) was rude to Bryant at the time.

Brooks: said to BBC's Nick Robinson words along lines of "what am I going to about Tom Watson?" in 2009
Brooks: anti Sky bid alliance had dinner with Cable; RB had conversation with Osborne on bid in 2010, mentioned to Cameron

RB: "I expressed my view forcefully" about BSkyB bid. Spoke to Osborne, may hv mentioned it to Cameron
RB: Don't remember "forceful" conversation with Cam abt BSkyB bid. Osborne "was interested in our arguments"

RB: Was aware of Fred Michel's role in the bid. I haven't read all of the emails.
RB: I often thought Mr Michel perhaps overgged his position. However he was doing his job. He was passing on info as lobbyists do.
Jay asking about 14 Dec 10 "Same from GO - total bafflement at response" email (Brooks to Michel). 
RB: Email followed dinner night before with husband, Osborne and wife and [Will] Lewis and his wife. More of a social occasion.

Brooks knew about Fred Michel but had not realised how extensive his work was until she saw the Leveson evidence.

Viewed lobbyists with slight scepticism. He slightly over egged his position. He was doing his job. [exactly what J Murdoch said]
Oct 12 2010 Fred Michel email to Matthew Anderson [JRM's right hand man] Brooks is copied into the email.
Jay asks why she was copied in. "I'm not sure. I'm not copied into many of them." This is email suggesting Times editor shd lobby Cable.
Here is the relevant document string via  
Brooks had discussed the bid with George Osborne at a dinner the night before. My memory was it my husband, Will Lewis&his wife, GO and wife
Part of the dinner I would have discussed our frustration at what was going on. Not at any great length.
Jay says this was at time of the Ofcom "issues letter" [which laid out what the issues the regulator said needed to be addressed]
[If she called it the Anti-Sky Bid Organisation, it would have a better acronym]
Maybe I was naive, but I did believe the bid wd be handled [till Cable showed his hand]
Brooks at #leveson: always thought level of access that seemed to come out (from Fred Michel NC lobbyist) was pretty good
Don't recall detailed conversation, may have been 3 mins of me saying can you believe this has happened & Osborne looking slightly perplexed
Brooks: can't remember whether she brought it up; was entirely appropriate conversation

Brooks getting a bit restless it seems. Admits she discussed progress of BSkyB with George Osborne at dinner in Dec 2010
MT exchange over Osborne-Brooks BSkyB conversation demonstrates exactly why its ludicrous Osborne not appearing before  
Brooks: this was a quasi-judicial decision, nothing to do with personalities, preferences of Cameron et al

[RB claims she was countering arguments of the anti-BSkyB alliance. Which had precisely one mtg with Jeremy Hunt]
RB: Certainly from what we've seen from Fred Michel's emails, there was a lot of lobbying going on from our side. 
RB: Only one email from Blackberry relevant to inquiry questions on BSkyB (Jun-Jul 2011). 

Brooks:That was all that was on my Blackberry.[on a very limited timescale] 
In a Michel email, she is told what Hunt will say about hacking in a Commons statement (in early 2011).

Guardian Live Blog:
Brooks says she may have been "naive" to believe the Sky bid would be dealt with properly by ministers.
Jay turns to an email disclosed to the inquiry by Brooks.
He asks why only one email was disclosed.
Brooks says: "Between June and 17 July, when my BlackBerry was imaged there was some emails and some text messages, legal team went through all those … this was the only email I had in that period that was relevant to the BSkyB questions I had been asked."
Jay says the email shows that Michel had been told what Hunt planned to say to parliament about the BSkyB bid in the coming week.
The email text, as read by Jay, says: "Hunt will be making references to phone hacking in references to Rubicon later this week … and phone hacking is nothing to do with plurality."
She says: "I think it was news to me and therefore could be surprising."
In another email on 27 June, Michel says that Hunt was to begin looking deeper into phone hacking and wanted assistance from News Corp:
"JH starting to look into hacking ... has askd me to advise hm privately in coming weeks and guide his and No 10's positioning.
Email says Jeremy Hunt sought News Corp private guidance on hacking, gives advance notice of statement contents
In this email, Michel says Hunt had asked him to "advise privately" on phone-hacking to "guide his and No.10's positioning" [wow] 

Full text of Michel's Email (from the Guardian)

2.58pm: Here is the full text of the Fred Michel emails, as seen by our reporters at the Leveson inquiry:

Fred Michel to Rebekah Brooks:
27 June 2011 16:29

Hunt will be making references to phone hacking in his statement on Rubicon this week.
He will be repeating the same narrative as the one he gave in Parliament few weeks ago.
This is based on his belief that the police is pursing things thoroughly and phone hacking has nothing to do with the media plurality issues.
It's extremely helpful.
On the issue of the privacy committee he supports a widening of its remit to the future of the press and evidence from all newspaper groups on the regulatory regime.
He wants to prevent a public inquiry. For this the committee will need to come up a strong report in the autumn and put enough pressure on the PCC to strength itself and take recommendations forward.
JH is now starting to looking to phone hacking/practices more thoroughly and has asked me to advise him privately in the coming weeks and guide his and No 10's positioning…
Brooks to Michel:
Jun 27 2011 17:30

When is the Rubicon statement?
Michel to Brooks:
Probably Weds
Were relations between James and Rupert increasingly fraught. Brooks{pauses] Not between father and son. Situation was fraught.
"Murdochs are like any normal family. They have dynamics that change. But I wouldn't set any store by Vanity Fair [Jay's source]"
Brooks denies she was go-between for James and Rupert. I wd talk to both of them [about hacking].
Brooks says she doesn't remember if she ever spoke to AC John Yates about phone hacking.
Jay says inquiry has v little interest in the police horse, but was there link btwn loan and Dick Fedorcio's son getting work experience. No
The discussion now is about a Sun story that Gordon Brown's son had cystic fibrosis. Brown claimed this info was blagged.
Brooks says No. The source was father of another CF child who had some link to a charity.Brooks won't say more to protect source.
Brooks: for all i know this could be directly from Jeremy Hunt or No10
(re Hunt - remember Michel said he referred to Hunt when he'd just spoken to Hunt's advisor)
Email from Michel: Hunt's belief is police pursing things and phone hacking has nothing to do with the media plurality issue. 
RB says could have discussed phone hacking with John Yates in 2009 but doesn't remember.
RB had 10 meetings/dinners with Fedorcio between Sep 04 and Nov 10. 3 meetings with Sir Paul Stephenson 08-09.
RB: Senior police officers were more inclined to want to go to a neutral venue, like a restaurant, than politicians.
Jay asks about "shattered dad" source for Brown son's CF story. RB:Being vague but purposefully so. Don't want to reveal idenitity.
RB: In 2006 we discussed the story directly with the Browns before publication. First heard about his hacking concerns was 2011.
Sun article countering Brown's allegations called claim of hacking records "false + a smear". asks if fair if he just got it wrong?
RB: "shattered dad" who gave Sun story about Gordon Brown's cystic fibrosis son got info thru a small CF charity
Mr Jay Insisting R Brooks should identify the source of the cystic fibrosis story
Rebekah Brooks insisting she cannot diviulge name of the source of the story - (becoming increasingly uncomfortable)

Brooks also says Brown wasn't bothered by breach of privacy until 2011. Story was written in 2006.
Leveson asks whether it was fair for The Sun to accuse Brown of a "smear" when he said they had blagged his info. Brooks sort of agrees.
Jay seems incredulous that Sun had Browns' permission to use story(once confronted by it).If Browns had asked me not to run it, I wdnt have.

Brooks: The Sun has a trust with its readership. #Leveson (unconvincingly): Yup.
Jay: you're suffusing the Sun with virtue Mrs Brooks
(discussion now is about story on Brown's son and subsequent row)
RB: The Sun felt that had to stand up, terrible accusation for a former PM to make, explains strong tone of rebuttal. 
RB refuses to name source of story, says paper felt info came from legitimate means.
RB: You have to consider how traumatic it was…the diagnosis. Jay: What about including it on the Sun's front page, is that helping?
RB: I definitely had more of a communication with Sarah Brown on story, as she was my friend.
RB denies telling Ed Balls to sack Sharon Shoesmith or would "turn this thing on him" but says they did talk.

Jay: Was cystic fibrosis source paid for information? RB I think he asked for donation

From Guardian Live Blog:
Brooks is asked about the Sun's campaign against the Haringey social workers, including Sharon Shoesmith, involved in the Baby P case in 2007. Shoesmith was sacked by Ed Balls, then a secretary of state, in 2008.
The Sun launched an e-petition calling for people to be sacked.
Jay asks whether Brooks telephoned Balls calling for Shoesmith to be sacked in November 2008 "or we will turn this thing on him".
"No," says Brooks. She adds that she did have conversations with Balls and that he was aware of the Sun's e-petition. She confirms that the pair did discuss the issue in a telephone call.
Did you indicate that you wanted Balls to sack Shoesmith?
"Mr Jay, I didn't tell Ed Balls to fire Sharon Shoesmith. Yes I had conversations with Mr Balls; I also spoke to the shadow minister who I think was Michael Gove."
RB: There are many stories that newspapers haven’t run on personal circumstances about public figures.
RB: Publishing the photos of known sex offenders in the Sun was a way of highlighting the central issue of the campaign.
RB: Publishing the photos of known sex offenders in the NoW was a way of highlighting the central issue of the campaign.
RB: I couldn't have predicted a paediatrician being mistaken for a paedophile. Was merely constructing a very bold campaign.

Is it not eminently inflammatory to publish names and photographs of known paedophiles? B: Only if that was your intention.
Brooks says 98pct of British public continue to agree with Sarah's Law. [Maybe they support the end, but not the means, surely?]

Jay says she had "crude objectives" in mind. Brooks: I do not agree with you and I will not agree with you.
Brooks: I do have some regrets about campaign, partic list of convicted paedophiles we put in paper, mistakes in list
Re that campaign Brooks w statement says: "I accept that this could have been done better with more time...."
Brooks to Jay: you've put gossipy points... we're not in a tabloid newsroom now 

RB: I didn't predict riot (over naming sex offenders) or that someone wd mistake a paediatrician for a paedophile

Brooks says she has had to ask gossipy questions including swimming with Murdoch, horses, etc. A lot of it is gender based.
Brooks: If I was a grumpy old man in Fleet St no one would write 1st thing about my relationship with R Murdoch
No journalist would agree with your statement that the story is more important than the truth. [ ]

RB: I'm not sure whether it helps this inquiry whether Mr Murdoch bought me a suit or not, or I went swimming with him.
RB: I've never compromised my position as a journalist by having a friendly relationship with a politician.
RB: From a journalist's perspective, you're not trying to see politician for commercial interest but to gather information. 

Brooks: if a PM had ever put cosiness with media group before their duties to electorate, would be a terrible failing
Brooks says as a journalist you try to see politician to gather info, get a good story

#Leveson on press pol relations: I'm not saying there's a Faustian bargain necessarily...
#Leveson returning to collieries for his hypotheticals. Their owners wd have less access than journos he suggests
Brooks argues journos are out to get good story not argue for commercial interests of companies  

Rebekah Brooks' testimony ends.