David Cameron attended a Christmas drinks party at Rupert Murdoch's London flat on Monday night, Downing Street has confirmed.

Monday night's event for a "few dozen" invitees was thought to be the first time the pair had met since the prime minster's re-election in May, and the first time Cameron had seen his old friend Rebecca Brooks, chief executive of News UK, since she was cleared of all phone hacking charges, the Guardian reported.

Correspondence between Brooks and the prime minister showing the closeness of their friendship came to light during the Leveson Inquiry.

The prime minister used to regularly spend time with the former editor of the Murdoch-owned The Sun before the phone hacking scandal engulfed the company she worked at, News International, in 2011.

Nine journalists were eventually convicted on hacking charges, but all the potential corporate charges against Murdoch and Brooks in the US and UK have been dropped. Brooks returned to her old job as CEO of Murdoch's British newspaper operations, now called News UK, in September.

Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of ad group WPP, said of Murdoch, now 84:

He certainly hasn’t been diminished. If anything, he has more vim and vigour than ever. He is just as powerful a figure and in the future will be even more so.

Since the Tory majority government was elected in May, Cameron has met with several national newspaper editors, including the editors of Murdoch-owned papers The Times and The Sun, and attended parties thrown by Lord Rothermere, owner of the Daily Mail, and Evgeny Lebedev, who owns the Independent titles and the Evening Standard.

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