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David Cameron Willing To Testify At Leveson Inquiry

David Cameron

First Posted: 01/10/12 05:35 AM ET Updated: 01/10/12 09:38 AM ET

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister David Cameron will give evidence to Britain's media ethics inquiry if he is asked, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Steve Field said Cameron had made it clear that the judge-led inquiry would have the power to call serving and past prime ministers. He said Cameron had not yet been asked to give evidence but added: "Obviously if he was asked to attend, he would."

Cameron set up the inquiry into press ethics last year after evidence emerged that the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World tabloid eavesdropped on the cell phone voice mail messages of celebrities, politicians and crime victims

Cameron's communications chief, Andy Coulson, resigned last year over the still unfolding phone hacking scandal. Coulson had been editor of News of the World when a reporter and a private investigator working for the paper were jailed for phone hacking in 2007.

Over the past two months the inquiry has heard from journalists and newspaper executives, as well as celebrities and others who say their lives have been marred by press intrusion.

Financial Times editor Lionel Barber told inquiry chief Brian Leveson on Tuesday that the phone hacking scandal was a wake up call for the media.

"We need to change the way we do business," he said.

Barber said the system of media regulation had to be overhauled. He said the existing Press Complaints Commission was ineffective because it was run by insiders — people working in the media. He said any new regulator should deal with web-based news organizations such as the Huffington Post as well as newspapers.

Daily Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher and former editor Will Lewis — who is now general manager for Murdoch's News International titles — also are to give evidence Tuesday.

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Online: www.levesoninquiry.org.uk

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Filed by Jack Mirkinson  |