Rebekah Brooks made plan to call Tony Blair in days before her arrest: 'Can't wait xx' - Press Gazette

Rebekah Brooks made plan to call Tony Blair in days before her arrest: 'Can't wait xx'

Rebekah Brooks has told the hacking trial how she texted turned to former Prime Minister Tony Blair in the days approaching her arrest when she was "feeling properly terrified", the hacking trial heard today.

The ex-News International chief executive exchanged a series of texts with the former prime minister in the days leading up to her arrest on 27 July 2011.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC read out the texts which were about Brooks' forthcoming appearance in Parliament before a select committee on her 13th day in the witness box.

At 7.34am on 16 July, Brooks told Blair she had an interview with police the next day.

She texted: "Feeling properly terrified! The police are behaving so badly."

Blair replied: "Everyone panics in these situations" and later: "I'm no use on police stuff but call me after that because I may be some help on Commons."

The text exchange started on 10 July with Mr Blair saying: "Hi its Tony. I've just landed. Is it too late to speak or should we stick with tomorrow?"

Brooks replied: "Let's stick with tomorrow" adding later "Can't wait xx".

They then went on to make arrangements for the call. Blair told Brooks he was in the Middle East, saying: "I'm really sorry about it all. Call me if you need to. Tx"

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard how Blair offered in the phone call to be an unofficial adviser telling Brooks: "It will pass. Tough up."

Then on 16 July,  Blair texted: "If you're still going to Parliament you should call me. I have experience of these things! Tx"

Brooks replied: "Definitely. Depends on the police interview first. I have Stephen Parkinson here today. I have never met him but people say he is good."

Blair replied: "He's excellent."

On the day of her arrest, Brooks texted Blair: "With Stephen now. We are both saying hello. x"

Brooks also talked today about her husband's attempt to hide embarrassing property.

Earlier in the trial, the court heard Charlie Brooks had stashed bags containing an assortment of items including a porn magazine, lesbian porn DVDs and two laptops behind bins in the underground car park at their Chelsea Harbour flat just before police searched it while his wife was being interviewed by police on July 17 2011.

He went back to retrieve the bags and discovered they were gone, having been picked up when the bins were emptied, the court has heard.

The court was told the operation involved moving property from their Oxfordshire home, taking it to Wapping and then hiding it in bags behind the bins.

Brooks said she vaguely recalled him talking about his novel in the car as they returned from a visit to her solicitors after her interview with police.

But she said at the time she was feeling sick and just wanted to get home to bed.

The jury was shown CCTV footage of them returning, and Brooks going off apparently to look for the property and returning empty-handed.

Brooks said her husband stayed quiet then because "he was just trying to deal with it and not tell me until he had to".

She thought it was pretty stupid because of the "embarrassment factor", adding that he was "absolutely obsessive" about his novel.

But she understood his motives even though it was unnecessary, she said.

Recalling their conversation later, she said: "He told me he had asked security to look after his belongings.

"I thought it was an impulsive ill thought-out decision. I thought it was a really, really stupid thing to do."

Asked why "impulsive", she said: "I am maybe referring more to the personal stuff.

"I think it's evident he did not want police to find his stuff."

"You did not want police to get your stuff," Andrew Edis QC asked.

"That's not true.

"The police had all my stuff," she said.

Edis told Brooks that her evidence was nothing but a "carefully presented script".

As he neared the conclusion of his cross examination, Edis told her she was running her world "at the top of the tree".

Nothing happened which she did not want to happen while she was "the boss", controlling staff, and even her husband Charlie, he said.

Edis went on: "In fact, Mrs Brooks, your evidence has been a carefully presented script."

Brooks, 45, of Churchill, Oxfordshire, has been giving evidence for 13 days at the Old Bailey.

She denies conspiring to hack phones, conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office and conspiring to pervert the course of justice. All seven defendants in the case deny the charges against them.

The jury was shown more texts that Brooks sent to other people in the two days before her arrest, discussing her preparations for the police interview and appearance before the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee .

In one, she reveals: "Rupert, James (Murdoch) and I are in Oxfordshire this weekend being briefed by lawyers."

Later, she says: "Lawyers all over me for CMS and for police and future. I need to keep focused and tight lipped. Its a serious situation for me."

To "James M", she says: "Morning. The team are coming up for ten. The police now want to arrest me tomorrow in the full glare of publicity as I have resigned.

"Lawyers trying to fight that but it could mean I don't do CMS. Will keep all in the loop once we know. Hear krm (Rupert Murdoch) was brilliant with the Dowler family."



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