David Cameron has said the Commons is likely to be recalled in order to consider the latest developments in the phone hacking scandal.

MPs were due to begin a six-week recess at the end of Tuesday.

But Labour have demanded an extra day’s sitting to enable MPs to debate what is said by Rupert Murdoch and Sir Paul Stephenson at committees on Tuesday.

The PM said it would be “right” to make a statement on Wednesday and answer questions “arising” from the hearings.

Pressure has been growing on the Commons to keep sitting on Wednesday as the scandal surrounding News International and the police continues to intensify.

Key meetings

Rupert Murdoch, his son James and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks are set to face questions on Tuesday afternoon from the Commons culture committee over what went on at the News of The World and what they knew about it.

Earlier that day, the Met Commissioner – who announced his resignation on Sunday amid allegations about the force’s relationship with former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis – is due to appear before the home affairs select committee.

Speaking in South Africa, where he is on a trade trip, Mr Cameron said he believed it would be appropriate for MPs to sit an extra day to discuss these developments.

It is up to the Commons Speaker John Bercow to decide whether to extend the Commons sitting.

Downing Street said they did not expect there to be a session of Prime Minister’s Questions – which normally takes place on a Wednesday – but that the prime minister will make a statement on phone hacking and take questions from MPs afterwards.

‘Fleeing the country’

Mr Cameron has faced criticism for the timing of his trip to Africa, one Conservative backbencher suggesting that it appeared he was “fleeing the country”.

But the prime minister defended his decision saying: “It is important for the prime minister to get out there with British business at a time when we need investment and growth and jobs back at home.”

“It is a good thing to do and I am going to press ahead with that,” he added.

And he said he had been in touch with Home Secretary Theresa May and other key figures to discuss the latest developments.

“Just because you are travelling to Africa does not mean you suddenly lose contact with your office.

Mr Cameron was also quizzed about Sir Paul Stephenson’s resignation – and the reference in his resignation statement to the prime minister’s close relationship with the News of the World’s former editor, Andy Coulson.

He rejected suggestions that there was any similarity between Neil Wallis being employed by Scotland Yard and Mr Coulson working in Downing Street.

“The situation in the Metropolitan Police Service is really quite different to the situation in the government, not least because the issues that the Metropolitan Police are looking at, the issues around them, have had a direct bearing on public confidence into the police inquiry into the News of the World and indeed into the police themselves.”

Source: BBC News

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