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Ivan Lewis MP, Labour’s Shadow Culture Secretary
, commenting on David Cameron’s mixed messages about transparency of meetings between politicians and media proprietors, said:

"David Cameron’s promise of greater transparency over meetings with media executives will ring hollow unless he comes clean about the nature of the discussions which took place at his dinner with Rebekah Brooks last Christmas.

"David Cameron's judgement is in serious question, and so is the nature of the conversations he had with his friend Rebekah Brooks. The dinner came just days after he handed responsibility for the BSkyB deal from Vince Cable to Jeremy Hunt. Did he discuss this with Rebekah Brooks over dinner?"

1. In his statement to the House of Commons yesterday, David Cameron said he wanted total transparency about the relationship between politicians and media proprietors: 

“As we discussed a few moments ago, if we are calling for greater transparency from the police, I think it is only right that we provide it in Government, too. After all, as I have said, one of the reasons why we got into this situation is because, over the decades, politicians and the press have spent time courting support, not confronting the problems. So I will be consulting the Cabinet Secretary on an amendment to the ministerial code to require Ministers to record all meetings with newspaper and other media proprietors, senior editors and executives, regardless of the nature of the meeting. Permanent secretaries and special advisers will also be required to record such meetings. This information should be published quarterly. It is a first for our country, and alongside the other steps we are taking, will help to make the UK Government one of the most transparent in the world. I will also be discussing this with the Opposition, and perhaps we can adopt it on a cross-party basis.”

2. That very same evening he tabled a parliamentary answer once again refusing to come clean about his dinner with Mr Murdoch and Ms. Brooks:

Yesterday Rt Hon David Cameron said in a Written Answer:

“Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Prime Minister when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Bury South of 1 March 2011. [65992]
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to my letter to him of 17 February 2011 which set out that I do not have a role in this merger.”

In his letter to Ivan Lewis, David Cameron failed to mention his dinner with Mr Murdoch and Ms. Brooks. The correspondence can be viewed here.

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