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Text messages sought in Britain's tabloid phone hacking scandal

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By The Associated Press
Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, 9:16 p.m.

LONDON — A British lawmaker called on Sunday for the country's media ethics inquiry to publish all the text messages it has between Prime Minister David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks, the ex-chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper division, who faces charges over the country's tabloid phone hacking scandal.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper printed two previously unseen messages the pair had exchanged in 2009 on Sunday, prompting a call from opposition Labour Party lawmaker Chris Bryant for Judge Brian Leveson's ethics inquiry to disclose the texts.

Some messages sent between Cameron and Brooks have been studied by the national panel and released to the public, provoking embarrassment for the British leader.

However, other texts, which the inquiry says were not relevant to its work, have been kept private.

Bryant claims the messages have been withheld only because they are “salacious and embarrassing.”

Cameron, a school friend of Brooks' husband, traded text messages with the senior media figure at least once a week and offered her support after she stepped down in 2010 during the hacking scandal.

The leader was also forced to acknowledge that he had occasionally gone horse riding with the couple, an image that appeared to reinforce claims by opponents that Cameron is part of a remote elite.

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