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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What it’s like to fall victim to the Mail Online’s aggregation machine

I recently travelled to Iraq at my own expense to write a piece about war graves. Within five hours of the story's publication by the Times, huge chunks of it appeared on Mail Online – under someone else's byline.

I recently returned from a trip to Iraq, and wrote an article for the Times on the desecration of Commonwealth war cemeteries in the southern cities of Amara and Basra. It appeared in Monday’s paper, and began:

“‘Their name liveth for evermore’, the engraving reads, but the words ring hollow. The stone on which they appear lies shattered in a foreign field that should forever be England, but patently is anything but.”

By 6am, less than five hours after the Times put it online, a remarkably similar story had appeared on Mail Online, the world’s biggest and most successful English-language website with 200 million unique visitors a month.

It began: “Despite being etched with the immortal line: ‘Their name liveth for evermore’, the truth could not be further from the sentiment for the memorials in the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Amara.”

The article ran under the byline of someone called Euan McLelland, who describes himself on his personal website as a “driven, proactive and reliable multi-media reporter”. Alas, he was not driven or proactive enough to visit Iraq himself. His story was lifted straight from mine – every fact, every quote, every observation, the only significant difference being the introduction of a few errors and some lyrical flights of fancy. McLelland’s journalistic research extended to discovering the name of a Victoria Cross winner buried in one of the cemeteries – then getting it wrong.

Within the trade, lifting quotes and other material without proper acknowledgement is called plagiarism. In the wider world it is called theft. As a freelance, I had financed my trip to Iraq (though I should eventually recoup my expenses of nearly £1,000). I had arranged a guide and transport. I had expended considerable time and energy on the travel and research, and had taken the risk of visiting a notoriously unstable country. Yet McLelland had seen fit not only to filch my work but put his name on it. In doing so, he also precluded the possibility of me selling the story to any other publication.

I’m being unfair, of course. McLelland is merely a lackey. His job is to repackage and regurgitate. He has no time to do what proper journalists do – investigate, find things out, speak to real people, check facts. As the astute media blog SubScribe pointed out, on the same day that he “exposed” the state of Iraq’s cemeteries McLelland also wrote stories about the junior doctors’ strike, British special forces fighting Isis in Iraq, a policeman’s killer enjoying supervised outings from prison, methods of teaching children to read, the development of odourless garlic, a book by Lee Rigby’s mother serialised in the rival Mirror, and Michael Gove’s warning of an immigration free-for-all if Britain brexits. That’s some workload.

Last year James King published a damning insider’s account of working at Mail Online for the website Gawker. “I saw basic journalism standards and ethics casually and routinely ignored. I saw other publications’ work lifted wholesale. I watched editors...publish information they knew to be inaccurate,” he wrote. “The Mail’s editorial model depends on little more than dishonesty, theft of copyrighted material, and sensationalism so absurd that it crosses into fabrication.”

Mail Online strenuously denied the charges, but there is plenty of evidence to support them. In 2014, for example, it was famously forced to apologise to George Clooney for publishing what the actor described as a bogus, baseless and “premeditated lie” about his future mother-in-law opposing his marriage to Amal Alamuddin.

That same year it had to pay a “sizeable amount” to a freelance journalist named Jonathan Krohn for stealing his exclusive account in the Sunday Telegraph of being besieged with the Yazidis on northern Iraq’s Mount Sinjar by Islamic State fighters. It had to compensate another freelance, Ali Kefford, for ripping off her exclusive interview for the Mirror with Sarah West, the first female commander of a Navy warship.

Incensed by the theft of my own story, I emailed Martin Clarke, publisher of Mail Online, attaching an invoice for several hundred pounds. I heard nothing, so emailed McLelland to ask if he intended to pay me for using my work. Again I heard nothing, so I posted both emails on Facebook and Twitter.

I was astonished by the support I received, especially from my fellow journalists, some of them household names, including several victims of Mail Online themselves. They clearly loathed the website and the way it tarnishes and debases their profession. “Keep pestering and shaming them till you get a response,” one urged me. Take legal action, others exhorted me. “Could a groundswell from working journalists develop into a concerted effort to stop the theft?” SubScribe asked hopefully.

Then, as pressure from social media grew, Mail Online capitulated. Scott Langham, its deputy managing editor, emailed to say it would pay my invoice – but “with no admission of liability”. He even asked if it could keep the offending article up online, only with my byline instead of McLelland’s. I declined that generous offer and demanded its removal.

When I announced my little victory on Facebook some journalistic colleagues expressed disappointment, not satisfaction. They had hoped this would be a test case, they said. They wanted Mail Online’s brand of “journalism” exposed for what it is. “I was spoiling for a long war of attrition,” one well-known television correspondent lamented. Instead, they complained, a website widely seen as the model for future online journalism had simply bought off yet another of its victims.