Cameron signs texts with 'love' to Brooks
British Prime Minister David Cameron signed texts to ex-Rupert Murdoch aide Rebekah Brooks "lots of love" and privately discussed the News of the World scandal with her, she told an inquiry yesterday.
In her long-awaited testimony at the Leveson Inquiry into the ethics of the press and its ties to politicians, she said Cameron also sent an "indirect" message of commiseration after she resigned from Murdoch's media empire.
Brooks, 43, was arrested in July over allegations of phone-hacking and bribing public officials. She and her racehorse trainer husband Charlie Brooks were rearrested in March on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.
Asked by counsel to the inquiry Robert Jay how Cameron signed his mobile phone text messages to her, Brooks replied, "He would sign them off DC in the main.
"Occasionally he would sign them off 'LOL', lots of love, until I told him it meant 'laugh out loud'."
Brooks was editor of the now-defunct News of the World from 2000 to 2003 and quit as chief executive of Murdoch's British newspaper wing News International in July 2011 after the hacking scandal erupted.
She said Conservative leader Cameron also asked her about phone hacking during a conversation in 2010, after a series of celebrities sued the News of the World over the interception of their mobile phone voicemails.
"Did we ever speak about it in those two years (2010 and 2011)? Yes we did, but I do remember in 2010 having a more detailed conversation ... because that was when the civil cases were coming in and it became more newsworthy," she said.
"I think he asked me what the update was, I think it had been on the news that day, so I explained the story behind the news. No secret information, no privileged information, just a general update."
At one point Brooks said she was "very concerned" to avoid questions that could prejudice any criminal proceedings.
Brooks said Cameron had been friends for years with the family of her husband, with whom Cameron studied at the elite boarding school Eton.
Asked about a report in The Times that Cameron had sent a text message saying "keep your head up" after her resignation on July 15 last year, Brooks said the message was "along those lines".