Cameron's BSkyB denial and his handling of the press

Thumb_chris-ship

So David Cameron has given an hour and 20 minutes of evidence of the Leveson Inquiry in press standards.

David Cameron facing the Leveson Inquiry
David Cameron facing the Leveson Inquiry Credit: Pool

It was a calm Prime Minister in the chair - trying no doubt to do what his Chancellor (and election strategist) George Osborne did on Monday - and take it all in his stride.

It's clear David Cameron has done his homework - he's been rehearsing it all in a role play situation in Downing Street with colleagues.

Thus far, he has explained why he had so many meetings with editors and media owners. When he took over as leader in 2005, "I was trying to win back newspapers that had been won over by Tony Blair," he told Robert Jay QC, the Inquiry counsel.

But that changed in government he claimed where "you should be spending time governing, not talking about governing."

He also explained why he switched his emphasis from newspapers to television. Broadcasters, unlike newspapers, are required to operate by a different set of rules and their impartiality is set out by legislation. "Television is the most important medium of communication," he said adding that he tries to focus on the main evening and ten o'clock news bulletins.

David Cameron was asked about the News Corporation bid for BSkyB
David Cameron was asked about the News Corporation bid for BSkyB Credit: Reuters

On the News Corporation bid for BSkyB however, the Prime Minister denied there had been a grand deal. Mr Cameron said, "On this idea of a deal - this idea the Conservative Party and News International got together and said 'you give us this support and we'll wave through this deal,' its nonsense."

He added that there was "no nod and a wink and some sort of covert agreement."

"I wanted to win over newspapers and broadcasters, I made those arguments. I didn't do it on the basis, overtly or covertly, of that your support means I will give you a better time on this policy or that policy."