Profile: Rebekah Brooks

Rebekah Brooks, former  Chief Executive of News International
Rebekah Brooks, former Chief Executive of News International Photo: PA

When Rebekah Wade (as she was then) took the editor's job at the News of the World in 2000, she was the youngest editor of a British national newspaper. After just three years at the infamous paper she moved to edit The Sun. Her rise to the top of the British media elite was swift but ended just as quickly by the hacking scandal.

In 2009 Rebekah Brooks was made a News International Executive, her final role in the Murdoch empire, having edited both the News of the World and The Sun. She was forced to resign in July 2011 in the wake of the hacking scandal.

She has sometimes been referred to as Rupert Murdoch's fifth child and is close to the tycoon, but when she appears before the Leveson Inquiry it will be her relationship with top politicians including David Cameron that will be the focus of attention.

News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch with Rebekah Brooks
News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch with Rebekah Brooks Credit: Reuters

Since she resigned revelations over her relationships with politicians, especially the Cameron's have increased. Ms Brooks hosted a Christmas dinner in 2010, which was attended by David Cameron and his wife, just two days after Business Secretary Vince Cable was stripped of his responsibility for media takeovers for saying he had "declared war" on the Murdochs' News Corporation empire.

Mrs Brooks's wedding in June 2009 was attended by both Mr Cameron and former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Ms Brooks was also lent a retired horse by the Metropolitan police which was ridden by David Cameron.

Allegations over impropriety were quickly leaped on by Rupert Murdoch, who responded on Twitter:

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Now they are complaining about R Brooks saving an old horse from the glue factory!

More recently texts The Times (£) alleged that David Cameron texted Rebekah Brooks telling her to "keep her head up" in the week that she resigned as chief executive of News International.

The Prime Minister told Mrs Brooks she would get through her difficulties just days before she stood down over the phone hacking scandal, an updated biography of Mr Cameron disclosed.

The contact between the pair then came to an abrupt halt, the book, Cameron: Practically A Conservative, claimed.

According to Daily Telegraph columnist Peter Oborne, Mrs Brooks has kept all the texts she received from the Prime Minister.

Andy Coulson told the Leveson Inquiry yesterday that Mr Cameron had a "family connection" with former News International executive Ms Brooks.

He said:

She was his constituent. Charlie Brooks is a constituent of his, so they lived relatively close to his constituency home but there was, I think, a fairly long historic family connection.

Ms Brooks has twice been arrested by Scotland Yard detectives investigating allegations of phone hacking, corrupt payments to public officials, and an attempt to pervert the course of justice. She was bailed and has not been charged.