Ed Miliband increases pressure on David Cameron

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Prime Minister David Cameron has a "whole series of unanswered questions" to address about his relationship with Rebekah Brooks and the Murdochs, Ed Miliband insisted today.





The Labour leader said there was a "sharp contrast" between the "honourable" decision by Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson to resign and Mr Cameron's repeated refusal to admit he made an "error of judgment" by employing ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson.



Mr Miliband called on the Prime Minister to "lead a debate" on the fallout of the phone hacking scandal when the Commons sits for an extra day on Wednesday, rather than simply give a statement.



He urged Mr Cameron to reveal whether he had ever discussed BSkyB with the Murdochs or Mrs Brooks at social gatherings.



In a speech in London Mr Miliband also said it was time to "get to the bottom of the relationships between the press and the police".



He added: "Clearly, the resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson speaks to the scale of the issues that need to be faced.



"There are questions about why the first police investigation failed and why it wasn't reopened.



"Whether the police were too close to those they should have been investigating."



Mr Miliband blamed the phone hacking scandal on a culture of "irresponsibility" that also led to the banking crisis and MPs' abuse of their expenses.



The Labour leader said that all three episodes were caused by some of the most powerful people in society thinking they were "untouchable" and could act as they pleased.



Speaking at KPMG in central London, Mr Miliband also called for a change to the media ownership laws, saying that the size of Rupert Murdoch's empire is "not healthy".



He said that common themes connected the scandals of the banks, MPs and now the press with the News of the World phone hacking allegations.



"All are about the irresponsibility of the powerful. People who believed they were untouchable.



"My argument is that throughout our society we need a new culture, rules and structure, which encourages people to act with responsibility.



"We need to address this responsibility deficit we see in our society."









Mr Miliband, who has won praise for his leadership on the phone hacking scandal, praised the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler as the "real heroes" in this episode, and praised them for their bravery.



He added: "We owe it to the Dowlers, and all the other victims of phone hacking, to get everything in the open."



He said that Mr Murdoch's power in the British media is part of the problem and that Labour will submit proposals for a change to ownership rules to the forthcoming judge-led inquiry into the affair.



"Down the ages, it is large concentrations of power that lead to abuses of power and neglect of responsibility.



"In the banks, they were too big to fail. And the same is true in our media," he said.



"News Corporation owned nearly 40% of the newspaper market. It owns 80% of the pay TV market through the Sky platform, and Sky News.



"I do not think that is healthy for our country. It is not healthy for consumers, who see choice constrained.



"It is not healthy for our democracy, where we see too much power in one set of hands.



"It is not healthy for a country that believes in responsibility all the way to the top of society."



The Labour leader will say that a reformed press complaints system should also encourage greater responsibility.



"When you make a mistake, you should have to publish an equally prominent apology," he said.



"When you wrong someone, you should have to pay compensation and not force them to go to the courts.



"And you should be judged not by your fellow editors, but independent people."







Mr Miliband said the Prime Minister was "hamstrung" by decisions he has taken in the past.



He said: "It is also striking that Sir Paul Stephenson has taken responsibility and resigned over the employment of Mr Coulson's deputy, while the Prime Minister hasn't even apologised for hiring Mr Coulson.



"We need leadership to get to the truth of what happened.



"But David Cameron is hamstrung by his own decisions and his unwillingness to face up to them.



"But it is also important for the country to do something more than have full transparency on what has happened."

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