Rupert Murdoch, his family, and News International editors and execs enjoyed more than 60 private meetings with British Cabinet ministers—107 meetings if social events are included—over the past 15 months, reports the Independent, which calls the meetings one of the strongest signs yet of the "unhealthily close" relationship between News International and David Cameron's government. In fact, Defense Secretary Liam Fox twice gave James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks confidential defense briefings on Afghanistan and other security issues.
Cameron released his meetings information last week, indicating he had met with News International executives 26 times since becoming prime minister. BBC, Telegraph, and Independent execs have been granted far fewer meetings with Cabinet ministers. However, the Cameron government tried to spin the news by saying that revealing the connections was a good thing. "This government is delivering unprecedented transparency," said a Conservative Party co-chairman, asking for the Labour Party to make a similar disclosure.