- Secret dinner with Rupert Murdoch in January 2011
- Sneaked details onto website in November 2011
- Assembly Members to question Boris today
A series of clandestine meetings between the Mayor of London, Rupert Murdoch and high level executives at News International were kept secret for ten months at the height of the phone hacking scandal, it will be confirmed today.
City Halls’ monitoring officer has disclosed to opposition members of the London Assembly that details of the meetings, published by Political Scrapbook two weeks ago and also scheduled to include Rebekah Brooks and Will Lewis, were placed in an obscure corner of the London.gov.uk website on 1 November 2011 — ten months after they took place and four months after a freedom of information request was made to obtain the data.
In just one session of Mayor’s Question Time, Boris Johnson described phone-hacking as:
- “a load of codswallop cooked up by the Labour Party”
- “patently politically motivated”
- “a politically motivated put up job”
- “completely spurious and political”
- “a song and dance about nothing”
- “whipped up by the Guardian and the Labour Party”
But in the ten months in which the meetings were kept hidden, the News Of The World was axed, Operation Weeting was launched and the world learned the true extent of the scandal, including the hacking of Milly Dowler and dead soldiers’ families — prompting the launch of the Leveson Inquiry.
We look forward to Boris’ explanations — at 10am this morning.