Blair will have to answer Mandelson's criticisms
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 26 May 2012
Tony Blair will give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry on Monday, three days before the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt provides testimony that is likely to decide his Cabinet future.
The first former prime minister to appear before the press standards inquiry will be asked about his relationship with newspaper groups both before and during his time in Downing Street, in particular his relationship with Rupert Murdoch and News International.
Lord Mandelson, the former business secretary, last week admitted that Mr Blair, along with other senior politicians, had become "closer than was wise" to the media mogul but denied there had been any "Faustian pact" to secure the support of The Sun.
Mr Blair, who is godfather to one of Mr Murdoch's children, can also expect questions over relationships with senior NI executives, including Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of The Sun and the News of the World. The Labour MP Tom Watson this week told Lord Justice Leveson that the Murdoch empire had tried to end his investigations into the phone-hacking scandal by asking Mr Blair to "call him off".
The appearance of the former prime minister will be the curtain-raiser to a crucial week of testimony. Mr Hunt, who has been accused of showing bias toward Mr Murdoch's News Corp during its takeover bid for BSkyB, will take the stand on Thursday. The beleaguered Culture Secretary is battling for his job following the publication of a raft of emails and texts showing a flow of privileged information from his office to News Corp and its lobbyist, Fred Michel, throughout the time Mr Hunt was supposed to be making a quasi-judicial ruling on the proposed takeover.
Other senior politicians to appear before the judge include the Education Secretary Michael Gove, a former senior editor on The Times, who said the inquiry was creating a "chilling atmosphere" towards freedom of expression.
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote in North Korean elections
Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Oil slicks in South China Sea ‘not from missing jet’, officials say
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a leading digital agency bu...
£16000 - £27000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre Limited: We're looking for...
£18000 - £27000 per annum + Commission + Award-Winning Benefits): Flight Centr...
£18000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre First and Business: This i...