U.K. Media Ethics Panel to Quiz Prime Minister About News Corp. Relationship
LONDON - British prime minister David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg will give evidence in front of the Leveson Inquiry into U.K. media standards and ethics here next week, taking the inquiry to the highest political levels.
The conservative prime minister was originally only expected to submit written evidence, but will now appear in person on Thursday for a full day of questioning.
A witness list published for next week also includes other political heavyweights, such as former prime ministers Gordon Brown and John Major, Finance and Treasury Secretary George Osborne and Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman.
The government-sponsored Leveson Inquiry has questioned a slew of political and media power players, including News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and his son James, to explore the relationship of the media with politics, police and the public in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.
Cameron and Osborne are expected to be questioned about the government's handling of News Corp.'s abandoned bid to take full control of BSkyB.
They also face questions about the hiring of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as Cameron's director of communications just months after he quit the now-shuttered Murdoch tabloid following phone hacking allegations against some staffers.
And Cameron is also likely to be quizzed about text messages he sent Rebekah Brooks, the former CEO of News Corp.'s U.K. newspaper unit News International who has been one of the people at the center of the phone hacking scandal.