David Cameron statement: live blog

Minute-by-minute coverage of the Prime Minister's statement on the media and the police.

Stay tuned for live coverage from 11:30am.

11:33: We're off. The Speaker begins with a short statement on the "wholly unacceptable" attack on Rupert Murdoch at yesterday's select committee hearing. He announces that he has set up an independent investigation into the security failure.

11:35 Cameron begins his statement. Until we sort this issue out, he says, we won't be able to get back to other issues such as the economy and welfare reform.

11:36 To groans, the PM praises the Commons for its role in forcing News Corp to abandon its bid for BSkyB.

11:36 Cameron promises to answer "all of the key questions about my role and that of my staff".

11:37 The PM is now announcing the membership of the judicial inquiry into the scandal. The inquiry will look at the behaviour of broadcast and social media as well as the press, Cameron says.

11:39 Cameron moves on to the police. His priority is to ensure that the role of the Met continues seamlessly, he says.

11:41 The whole affair raises questions about the ethics of our police, says Cameron.

11:43 Cameron says his staff behaved "entirely properly". He defends his chief of staff Ed Llewellyn's decision to reject John Yates's offer of a briefing on the investigation.

11:45 Former NoW deputy editor Neil Wallis provided Coulson with "informal advice", says Cameron. But he was never paid or contracted by the Conservative Party.

11:46 Cameron says he will offer a "profound apology" if it transpires that Coulson lied to him. But, "with hindsight", he adds, he would not have offered him a job. And Coulson, he suspects, would not have taken it.

11:48 The PM ends with a thinly-veiled attack on Ed Miliband for "political point scoring".

11:51 Miliband is speaking now. He asks Cameron whether he can assure the House that the BSkyB bid was not raised in any of his meetings with News International executives.

11:54 The Prime Minister was compromised by his relationship with Coulson, says Miliband. That's why he declined briefings from his staff.

11:55 This is punchy staff from Miliband. "Cameron made a deliberate attempt to hide from the facts about Mr Coulson," he says. The PM was caught in a "tragic conflict of loyalty".

11:58 It's not about hindsight, says Miliband. It's about all the information and warnings that Cameron ignored. He must provide a "full apology" for bringing Coulson into the heart of Downing Street.

12:00 Cameron is back on his feet, responding to Miliband. He offers his standard defence of Coulson, that no one has raised any questions about the job he did at No 10, and points out that only one party leader - Miliband - continues to employ a former News International journalist (Tom Baldwin).

12:02 The PM points out that Murdoch said the politician he was closest to was Gordon Brown, who Miliband was an adviser to.

Labour, he adds, ignored select committee reports, reports from the information commissioner and the failed police investigation. They were "the slumber party".

12:09 Tom Watson points out that he wrote to Cameron about Coulson's apparent knowledge of phone hacking and is yet to receive a reply. Cameron responds by paying "tribute" to Watson's work but emphasises that the complaint was not about his work at Downing Street.

12:11 We're going to wrap up the live blog now. Stay tuned for more comment and analysis on The Staggers.

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Beware, hard Brexiteers - Ruth Davidson is coming for you

The Scottish Conservative leader is well-positioned to fight. 

Wanted: Charismatic leader with working-class roots and a populist touch who can take on the Brexiteers, including some in the government, and do so convincingly.

Enter Ruth Davidson. 

While many Tory MPs quietly share her opposition to a hard Brexit, those who dare to be loud tend to be backbenchers like Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan. 

By contrast, the Scottish Conservative leader already has huge credibility for rebuilding her party north of the border. Her appearances in the last days of the EU referendum campaign made her a star in the south as well. And she has no qualms about making a joke at Boris Johnson’s expense

Speaking at the Institute of Directors on Monday, Davidson said Brexiteers like Nigel Farage should stop “needling” European leaders.

“I say to the Ukip politicians, when they chuckle and bray about the result in June, grow up,” she declared. “Let us show a bit more respect for these European neighbours and allies.”

Davidson is particularly concerned that Brexiteers underestimate the deeply emotional and political response of other EU nations. 

The negotiations will be 27 to 1, she pointed out: “I would suggest that macho, beer swilling, posturing at the golf club bar isn’t going to get us anywhere.”

At a time when free trade is increasingly a dirty word, Davidson is also striking in her defence of the single market. As a child, she recalls, every plate of food on the table was there because her father, a self-made businessman, had "made stuff and sold it abroad". 

She attacked the Daily Mail for its front cover branding the judges who ruled against the government’s bid to trigger Article 50 “enemies of the people”. 

When the headline was published, Theresa May and Cabinet ministers stressed the freedom of the press. By contrast, Davidson, a former journalist, said that to undermine “the guardians of our democracy” in this way was “an utter disgrace”. 

Davidson might have chosen Ukip and the Daily Mail to skewer, but her attacks could apply to certain Brexiteers in her party as well. 

When The Staggers enquired whether this included the Italy-baiting Foreign Secretary Johnson, she launched a somewhat muted defence.

Saying she was “surprised by the way Boris has taken to the job”, she added: “To be honest, when you have got such a big thing happening and when you have a team in place that has been doing the preparatory work, it doesn’t make sense to reshuffle the benches."

Nevertheless, despite her outsider role, the team matters to Davidson. Part of her electoral success in Scotland is down the way she has capitalised on the anti-independence feeling after the Scottish referendum. If the UK heads for a hard Brexit, she too will have to fend off accusations that her party is the party of division. 

Indeed, for all her jibes at the Brexiteers, Davidson has a serious message. Since the EU referendum, she is “beginning to see embryos of where Scotland has gone post-referendum”. And, she warned: “I do not think we want that division.”

 

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.