Leveson: Did Rebekah Brooks force Cameron to set up the McCann Inquiry?

Rebekah Brooks: Powerful enough to change the PM’s mind?

Thursday’s Leveson report could  form a judgement on whether  News International was such a powerful force in the land that the Prime Minister had to do its bidding.

I know for a fact that Lord Leveson has been exercised  over whether the inquiry got to the real truth over the sequence of events that led to the setting up of the Metropolitan Police inquiry at a cost of £2.5m  into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Those keen to follow the full sequence of events should go to the Exaro News website at http://www.exaronews.com  for a series of stories on the issue published today.

What becomes clear after talking to a number of players close to the event is that the situation was far from straightforward and involved more than just Rebekah Brooks making her views known to David Cameron.

The scenario includes direct meetings between News International executives and the Number Ten press office during the week The Sun published Kate McCann’s memoirs in May 2011. News International is not denying these meetings, Number Ten is talking of unspecified inaccuracies about who met who and what was said.

What is absolutely clear is that until The Sun published the direct plea for an inquiry on its front page, the Home office had absolutely no intention of setting up let alone funding such an inquiry. So was it the case of ” It was The Sun that did it “? If it was it has enormous implications for the running of this country.

Let me make it clear I am not blaming the McCanns for pressing for this – what mother and father who had gone through hell over the disappearance of a child – would not want everything done for them.

I am more interested in the Leveson view expressed by Robert Jay, counsel to the inquiry, when he said to Rebekah Brooks during the hearing was ” a case study in the exercise of power.”

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