LONDON (AP) — British media ethics inquiry said Friday that Prime Minister David Cameron will give evidence next week, amid questions over his ties to a number of suspects in the country's tabloid phone hacking scandal.

The judge-led inquiry, which Cameron set up to examine malpractice in the media and ties between politicians and the press, said it would also take testimony from ex-leaders Gordon Brown — who had an often troubled relationship with British newspapers — and John Major.

It confirmed it would also take evidence from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Treasury chief George Osborne, Scottish leader Alex Salmond and main opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, who has been a vocal critic of Rupert Murdoch's media empire since the phone scandal erupted.

Cameron, who will give evidence in a day-long session on Thursday, has been stung by his links to key figures in Murdoch's British newspaper operations.

His former communications chief Andy Coulson has been arrested and charged by police with perjury in a case connected to the scandal, while two of Cameron's friends have also been charged over alleged attempts to hamper the inquiry into phone hacking.

Ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie — a friend of Cameron since their school days — live close to the British leader's home in southern England. Both face allegations of perverting the course of justice.

Coulson, who quit as Cameron's top media aide in January 2011, and Brooks are both former editors of the News of The World tabloid, which was closed down by Murdoch last July amid a wave of public revulsion at revelations that staff routinely hacked the cellphone voice mail messages of those in the public eye.

Charlie Beckett, director of the POLIS media institute at the London School of Economics, said Cameron's judgment is likely to come under scrutiny, but warned those who expect the leader to be humbled are likely to be disappointed.

"It's difficult to see what the killer questions are. As the politicians have given evidence the inquiry's tone hasn't had that same feel of a trial, as it did when journalists were being questioned," he said.

The inquiry, which opened in September, has seen reporters and editors intensely grilled on media practices.

Opposition lawmakers, including Miliband, have insisted that Cameron's decision to hire Coulson — and to keep friendly ties to Brooks — shows a failure of judgment.

Cameron has long insisted that Coulson had deserved a "second chance" after he quit the News of the World in 2007 when a reporter and private investigator were jailed in what the company claimed at the time was an isolated case of phone hacking.

The British leader will also face questioning over his decision to assign Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to make an impartial decision on a takeover deal by Murdoch's News Corp.

Hunt was made responsible in December 2010 for a decision on whether News Corp. should be authorized to take full control of satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting, in which it holds a 39 percent stake.

Cameron turned to Hunt after Britain's Business Secretary Vince Cable was taped by undercover reporters claiming he planned to "declare war on Murdoch," and subsequently removed from making the decision on the grounds of bias.

But the inquiry has already published a letter Hunt sent to Cameron before he was assigned to adjudicate on the takeover in which he warned that blocking the deal would damage Britain's media industry.

Giving his own evidence to the inquiry last week, Hunt said his cozy ties to the tycoon's media empire were well known to the British leader, raising doubts over Cameron's decision-making.

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  • Rupert Murdoch

    In this image from video, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch appears at Lord Justice Brian Leveson's inquiry in London, Wednesday April 25, 2012 to answer questions under oath about how much he knew about phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid. Murdoch is being grilled on his relationship with British politicians at the country's media ethics inquiry, while a government minister is battling accusations he gave News Corp. privileged access in its bid to take over a major broadcaster. (AP Photo/Pool)

  • Rupert Murdoch, Wendi Deng

    News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi Deng leave the High Court in London after giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry, Thursday, April 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • James Murdoch

    In this image from video, former News International chairman James Murdoch appears at Lord Justice Brian Leveson's inquiry in London Tuesday April 24 2012 to answer questions under oath about how much he knew about phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid. Revelations that reporters had hacked into the phone of a teenage murder victim led James Murdoch's father Rupert to close the 168-year-old newspaper and triggered three police investigations as well as the judge-led inquiry into media practices. Rupert Murdoch, who is still chairman and chief executive of News International's parent company News Corp., will appear before the inquiry Wednesday. (AP Photo/Pool)

  • Piers Morgan

  • Andy Coulson

    Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World newspaper and former director of communications for Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, leaves after appearing at the Leveson Inquiry at the High Court in central London, Thursday, May 10, 2012. Britain's phone hacking scandal came knocking on the door of Downing Street Thursday, as Cameron's former communications chief faced a grilling by a media ethics inquiry about his time as editor of a tabloid newspaper that practiced large-scale illegal eavesdropping. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • Rebekah Brooks, Charlie Brooks

    FILE This Friday, May 11, 2012 file photo shows Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International leaves the High Court in London after giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. Brooks said Tuesday May 15, 2012 she and her husband will face charges over Britain's tabloid phone hacking scandal. Brooks, 43, said Tuesday in a statement that she will be prosecuted over allegations of obstruction of justice.(AP Photo/Sang Tan)

  • Tony Blair

    Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair leaves the High Court in London Monday, May 28, 2012 after he gave evidence to the Leveson media inquiry. Blair testified Monday that he never challenged the influential British press because doing so would have plunged his administration in a drawn-out and politically damaging fight. The Leveson inquiry is Britain's media ethics probe that was set up in the wake of the scandal over phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, which was shut in July 2011,after it became clear that the tabloid had systematically broken the law. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • Tony Blair

    In this image from video, Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair, left, watches as a protester is restrained by officials after he burst in through a secure corridor behind inquiry leader Lord Justice Brian Leveson, right, during the inquiry into media ethics in London Monday, May 28, 2012. The intruder shouted, "This man should be arrested for war crimes!" before being removed by security. Blair testified to the Leveson inquiry into media ethics Monday he never challenged the influential British press because doing so would have plunged his administration in a drawn-out and politically damaging fight. (AP Photo/Pool)

  • British police officers escort an man to a waiting police van after he heckled former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as he was giving evidence at the Leveson at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, Monday, May 28, 2012. Blair testified Monday that he never challenged the influential British press because doing so would have plunged his administration in a drawn-out and politically damaging fight. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Police officers handcuff a man who threw an egg at the vehicle of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as he was being driven away after appearing at the Leveson inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Monday, May 28, 2012. Blair testified Monday that he never challenged the influential British press because doing so would have plunged his administration in a drawn-out and politically damaging fight. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Adam Smith, Frederic Michel And Lord Brooke Give Evidence To The Leveson Inquiry

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25: Department for Culture, Media and Sport Permanent Secretary Jonathan Stephens leaves The Royal Courts of Justice after giving evidence to The Leveson Inquiry on May 25, 2012 in London, England. This phase of the inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press in the United Kingdom is looking at the relationship between the press and politicians. The inquiry, which may take a year or more to complete, comes in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that saw the closure of The News of The World newspaper in 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Tom Watson, Alan Johnson And Lord Smith Give Evidence At The Leveson Inquiry

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 22: Former Home Sectretary Alan Johnson leaves The Royal Courts of Justice after giving evidence to The Leveson Inquiry on May 22, 2012 in London, England. This phase of the inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press in the United Kingdom is looking at the relationship between the press and politicians. The inquiry, which may take a year or more to complete, comes in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that saw the closure of The News of The World newspaper in 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Former Deputy PM Lord Prescott And Ex-Scotland Yard Officer Brian Paddick Appear Before The Leveson Inquiry

    LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Former police commander Brian Paddick leaves after giving evidence at the Leveson inquiry on February 27, 2012 in London, England. The inquiry, which will take evidence from interested parties and may take a year or more to complete, comes in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that saw the closure of The News of The World newspaper. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Former Deputy PM Lord Prescott And Ex-Scotland Yard Officer Brian Paddick Appear Before The Leveson Inquiry

    LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott arrives to give evidence at the Leveson inquiry on February 27, 2012 in London, England. The inquiry, which will take evidence from interested parties and may take a year or more to complete, comes in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that saw the closure of The News of The World newspaper. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Jim (L) and Margaret Watson (R)

    Jim (L) and Margaret Watson (R) arrive at the Leveson inquiry at the the Royal Courts of Justice in London, on November 22, 2011. The phone hacking inquiry was set up by Prime Minister David Cameron in July amid public anger over the scandal when it emerged that the News of the World had accessed the voicemails of Milly Dowler, a murdered schoolgirl. AFP PHOTO / FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA (Photo credit should read FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Steve Coogan

    British television personality Steve Coogan (Top L) and Mary-Ellen Field (Below R) arrive at the Leveson inquiry at the the Royal Courts of Justice in London, on November 22, 2011. Mary Ellen-Field, a former aide to Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson, told an inquiry Tuesday she was fired after being falsely accused of leaking stories that were in fact obtained by British tabloid phone-hacking. AFP PHOTO / FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA (Photo credit should read FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Leveson Inquiry

    Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May arrives at the Leveson Inquiry into media standards at the High Court in London, Tuesday May 29 2012. The Leveson inquiry is Britain's media ethics probe that was set up in the wake of the scandal over phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World newspaper, which was shut in July 2011, after it became clear that the tabloid had systematically broken the law. (AP Photo / Stefan Rousseau, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

  • Fred Michel

    Fred Michel, a News Corporation lobbyist leaves after giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry, in central London, Thursday, May 24, 2012. A lobbyist for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. says he had the impression that a government minister was aware of information being given by an aide about the company's bid to take over British Sky Broadcasting. Lobbyist Fred Michel told the Leveson Inquiry on Thursday that he knew he was not supposed to have direct discussions with Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who was to decide whether the bid could proceed. (AP Photo)

  • Adam Smith

    Adam Smith, former special adviser to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt arrives at the Leveson inquiry, in central London, Thursday, May 24, 2012. Smith, who resigned last month after saying he went too far over his e-mail contacts relating to News Corporation's bid to take over BSkyB, was due to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into media standards. Hunt has rejected Labour party calls to quit over claims his relationship with Rupert Murdoch's company was too close. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • Alastair Campbell

    Former Director of Communications and Strategy for former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell leaves after giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, at the Royal Courts of Justice, London, Monday May 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Tim Hales)