Exclusive:

David Cameron, Rebekah Brooks and the emails kept from Leveson

Prime Minister took legal advice on withholding dozens of 'embarrassing' messages from judicial inquiry

Private emails between David Cameron and the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks have been withheld from the Leveson Inquiry after the Prime Minister sought personal legal advice, The Independent can reveal.

The cache of documents, which runs to dozens of emails and is also thought to include messages sent to Andy Coulson while he was still a Rupert Murdoch employee, was not disclosed after No 10 was advised by a Government lawyer that it was not “relevant” to the inquiry into press standards.

The contents of the private emails are described by sources as containing “embarrassing” exchanges. They hold the potential to cast further light on the close personal relationship between the Prime Minister and two of the media mogul’s most senior lieutenants.

However Mr Cameron, as part of legal briefings he received before and after his appearance before the inquiry, was said to have been advised that the Brooks-Coulson emails were outside Sir Brian Leveson’s remit and so he did not need to offer them up to form part of his report, expected to be published next month.

Although the Leveson Inquiry agreed to keep private a number of text messages between Mr Cameron and Mrs Brooks – disclosed by News International – after accepting that they were “irrelevant to its terms of reference”, no agreement was made for any emails or texts originating from Downing Street.

Sources within the inquiry have indicated that while documents detailing Mr Cameron’s meetings with media figures were received from No 10, it had received none of the Brooks-Cameron emails. An inquiry source confirmed: “Everything we got from No 10 we published.”

During his evidence to the inquiry in June, Mr Cameron said his officials would continue to search for emails related to News Corps’ controversial bid for control of BSkyB. He promised: “If any are found, I will make them available to the inquiry.” Leveson sources said that No 10 had not subsequently told the inquiry it had turned up anything.

Downing Street told The Independent last night that “no further relevant material had been found” following the PM’s appearance. Downing Street made no comment on who made the decision on what was deemed “relevant” and what was not. A spokeswoman said: “In common with previous Prime Ministers, the PM sought legal advice in order to co-operate fully with a judicial inquiry.”

The disclosure of the existence of the emails may be embarrassing for Mr Cameron, who personally ordered the Leveson Inquiry in the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

A senior Labour MP last night called for the dossier to be released, saying it was vital for the Prime Minister to have given full disclosure.

Chris Bryant, a victim of hacking who has been one of the leading campaigners on the issue, said: “If the Prime Minister has taken any steps to prevent any material, relevant or not – whether texts, emails or notes of conversations, between David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and News International – from coming into the public domain, then people will think this is yet another instance of the Prime Minister being less than straightforward with the country.”

Mr Bryant, a shadow Home Office spokesman, said it should not be up to a lawyer inside Downing Street to decide whether a text or email was relevant to the Leveson Inquiry: “The PM must make sure that every single communication that passed between himself and Brooks and Coulson is made available to the inquiry, and more important, to the public.”

The relationship between Mr Cameron and Mrs Brooks, who is awaiting trial on charges she denies of conspiring to hack phones and conspiring to pervert the course justice, and Mr Coulson, who became the Conservative leader’s media chief in 2007, was closely scrutinised by the inquiry.

The former editor of The Sun and the NOTW was asked by the inquiry’s counsel, Robert Jay QC, about the frequency of contact between herself and Mr Cameron when she was News international’s chief executive. She said they texted each other sometimes twice a week, occasionally signing off using the acronym LOL, which Mr Cameron stopped using when told it stood for “laugh out loud” and not “lots of love”. Mrs Brooks did not mention email exchanges.

News International provided the inquiry with text messages between Mrs Brooks and Mr Cameron over three months between 2009 and 2011 which had been retrieved from her phone.

During Mr Cameron’s evidence to the inquiry in June, its lawyer Robert Jay QC said it had been decided that all but one of the text messages was “irrelevant” to Lord Justice Leveson’s terms of reference.

In the disclosed message, sent in October 2009, Mrs Brooks wished the then Leader of the Opposition good luck with his conference speech, adding that “professionally we’re definitely in this together”.

News International provided texts to the inquiry following a request under Section 21 of the Inquiries Act, which was used to compel witnesses to provide evidence.

No politician who gave evidence to Leveson did so under section 21 rules.

A spokesman for the Leveson Inquiry said: “We haven’t given a running commentary on the background to evidence and we will not do so now.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Brendan Rodgers is confident that Sterling will put pen to paper on a new deal at Anfield
footballLIVE: Follow all the latest from tonight's Capital One semi-finals
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Life and Style
tech
News
Not quite what they were expecting
news

When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires

Arts and Entertainment
Angelina Jolie and Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal at the Golden Globes in 2011
film
Life and Style
Thorsten Heins, and Alicia Keys (BlackBerry 10, 2013)
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up
A Greek island - yours for the price of a London flat

A sun-kissed island - yours for the price of a London flat

Cash-strapped Greeks are selling off their slices of paradise
Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

New system means that evergreen songs could top the festive charts
Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence

Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys

He is a musician of wondrous oddity. He is on a perpetual quest to seek the lost tribes of the Welsh diaspora. Just don't ask Gruff Rhys if he's a national treasure...