The contents of some of the text messaging between Tony Blair and Rebekah Brooks from the period just before she was arrested in July 2011, have been shown to the jury at the Hacking Trial at London’s Old Bailey today.
Thanks to Gaetan Portal from the BBC
Full transcript via the Guardian
10 July 2011 (the day the News of the World closes)
Tony Blair: Hi, it’s Tony, I’ve just landed. Is it took late to speak or should we stick with tomorrow?
Rebekah Brooks: Let’s stick to tomorrow.
Rebekah Brooks: Can’t wait xx
11 July 2011
Tony Blair: What’s the best number for you? I’m ready to speak.
Rebekah Brooks: Sorry. Only just excaped meetings. When is a good time? X
Tony Blair: Now. Call my hotel landling. Ask for room 610.
12 July 2011
Tony Blair: I’m in Mid East. Call me when you can Tx
15 July 2011 (the day Brooks resigns)
Tony Blair: I’m really sorry about it all. Call me if you need to. Tx
16 July 2011
Tony Blair: If you’re still going to parliament you should call me. I have experience of these things! Tx
Rebekah Brooks: Definitely depends on the police interview first. I have Stephen Parkinson [a lawyer] here today. I have never met him but people say he is good.
Tony Blair: He’s excellent.
Rebekah Brooks: Great news. Feeling properly terrified. Police are behaving so badly.
Tony Blair: Everyone panics in these situations and they will feel they have their reputation to recover. Assume you have quality QC advice? When’s the interview?
Rebekah Brooks: Sunday probably or Monday. Cms committee. Tuesday. Stephen bringing someone called Emma Hodges and we have QC.
Tony Blair: That’s good. I’m no use on police stuff but call me after that because I may be some help on Commons.
Rebekah Brooks: Great. Will do. X
Lord Mandelson was also approached to coach Brooks for her pending appearance before a select committee hearing, according to the prosecuting counsel. Both Rupert and James Murdoch were part of the weekend long preparations at Enstone Manor in Oxfordshire.
In the days leading up to her arrest, the prosecution revealed that she was back in touch with Blair. “If you’re still going to Parliament you should call me. I have experience of these things! Tx” he wrote.
She replied: “Definitely. Depends on the police interview first. I have Stephen Parkinson here today. I have never met him but people say he is good.”
“He’s excellent,” Blair wrote back. On the day she was arrested, Brooks texted Blair: “With Stephen now. We are both saying hello. x”
In previous evidence presented to the jury, an email from Brooks to James Murdoch described Blair’s offer to become an informal adviser for some of the senior newspaper executives who were being linked with illegal newsgathering techniques. Other internal News International emails from Brooks and Will Lewis, (now the publisher of the Dow Jones) had suggested the phone hacking scandal, which erupted that summer was ‘revenge’ from supporters of Blair’s successor and Labour rival, Gordon Brown.
In his fifth and final day of cross examining Brooks, Edis accused her of masterminding phone hacking at the now shuttered News of the World, payment to public officials at The Sun, and covering up both activities when she was chief executive of News International. Brooks denied she knew anything about the illegal activities of news editors Greg Miskiw and Neville Thurlbeck, and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who have already pleaded guilty to phone hacking. She also denied all knowledge of the activities of her PA Cheryl Carter and her husband Charlie Brooks, who—the prosecution alleges—were part of a conspiracy to hide Brooks’ notebooks and computer equipment from the police around the time of her arrest.
In his concluding remarks Edis said: “Your evidence has been a carefully presented and prepared script and bears little relation to the truth these offences.” Brooks replied, quietly: “No, it isn’t.”
The reference to evidence previously seen is an email from Brooks to James Murdoch when she describes a conversation with Tony Blair the previous Monday, during which he allegedly suggested setting up a Hutton style report which would ‘clear’ Brooks.