New details highlight deep links between Cameron, Murdoch Co

London: The raging debate over the press- politician ties gained further fuel in Britain on Saturday with revelations that David Cameron had held not less than 26 meetings with executives of Rupert Murdoch`s media group in just over a year, though the government said there was nothing murky in it.

Earlier too, the British Prime Minister faced questions over his close links to senior editor of the News of the World, Andy Coulson, and had to defend himself.

It has emerged now that Cameron had met Rupert Murdoch`s executives, including Murdoch`s son James and former NOTW CEO Rebekah Brooks, on no fewer than 26 occasions in just over a year since he entered Downing Street.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said today that he was "not embarrassed" by the extent of the PM`s dealings with News International, though he accepted the relationship between the press and politicians had to change.

"There is something wrong here in the country and that it must be put right has been acknowledged by the prime minister and I think that is the right attitude to take," Hague said.

Defending Cameron`s invitation to Coulson, Hague added that this was a "normal, human thing" to do.

The fresh disclosures came as Murdoch issued an apology in national newspapers regretting "serious wrongdoing" by his group`s paper.

According to the Independent, a list of engagements released by Downing Street showed that Rebekah Brooks, who quit as News International chief executive on Friday, had been entertained at the prime minister`s official residence Chequers in June and August last year.

News International chairman James Murdoch also attended Chequers in November.

The paper said Coulson stayed at Chequers in March this year, two months after he quit as Downing Street director of communications following fresh allegations of phone hacking under his editorship at News of the World.