Cameron rode horse given to Brooks

Fri, Mar 2, 2012, 00:00

British prime minister David Cameron confirmed today that he did ride a horse which was lent by police to former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks.

It emerged at the Leveson Inqury this week that the Metropolitan Police loaned the horse to Ms Brooks for two years, prompting charges of an excessively close relationship between the two sides.

The former News International chief executive “fostered” the animal after it retired from active service.

She paid for food and vet bills until it was rehoused with a police officer in 2010 - months before fresh investigations into illegal activities at the News of the World.

The horse has since died of natural causes.

Mr Cameron today apologised for allowing a “confusing picture” to emerge over recent days about his direct connection with the animal.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Mr Cameron said the horse, Raisa, was among his mounts when he rode, before becoming prime minister, with Mrs Brooks’s husband Charlie, a friend since they attended Eton school.

“I have not been riding with him since the election. Before the election, yes, I did go riding with him,” he said at a press conference in Brussels.

“He has a number of horses and, yes, one of them was this former police horse Raisa which I did ride. I am very sorry to hear that Raisa is no longer with us and I think I should probably conclude by saying I don’t think I will be getting back into the saddle any time soon.”