Well over a year ago now, on 31 May 2012, I sent a Freedom of Information request to the Cabinet Office (CO) requiring the following information:

  1. Whether ministers, special advisors, civil servants and other government personnel were coached or in any way given preparation for their testimony to the Leveson enquiry.
  2. How any such coaching or preparation was funded.
  3. The cost of any such training or coaching.
  4. By whom the training/coaching was carried out.

It was abundantly clear, from the carefully-structured responses of Cameron and his ministers and aides to the questions put to them during their testimony to the Leveson inquiry into press standards/behaviour and their links to Newscorp and others, that they had been coached about how to answer – what to say, and what to conveniently ‘forget’, in order to avoid incriminating themselves under oath.

Such coaching is illegal under UK law, as the government itself admits – but…

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