SOUTH BASILDON and East Thurrock MP, Stephen Metcalfe rose to the floor of the house on Wednesday to lend his support to the Prime Minister, David Cameron during the key debate on phone-hacking.
David Cameron: “I have made the point that it is not routine for people in Downing Street to be given operational information about a police investigation. That was the whole thing that my chief of staff was rightly trying to prevent. Let me take the hon. Lady back to the time when Tony Blair was Prime Minister and there was an investigation into cash for honours. Just imagine if the police had pitched up and started briefing officials with operational intelligence. It would have been an appalling thing, and I cannot understand why she asks that question.”
Stephen Metcalfe: “May I congratulate my right hon. Friend on the leadership that he has shown in establishing such a wide-ranging and robust inquiry? Given that the Motorman investigation revealed details of 305 journalists and 30 newspapers and magazines, why does he think that a similar inquiry was not established following that?”
David Cameron: “We have to be frank. The previous Government were not on this at all and, frankly, the previous Opposition—us—should have done more. However, the previous Government have to take some responsibility for repeatedly ignoring repeated warnings. I could not have been more frank today about the responsibility I take. Every time I mention this I talk about the failings of the previous Opposition in doing their job, but just once in a while it would be nice to hear a little bat squeak of responsibility from the Labour party.”