The closeness of British Prime Minister David Cameron's links to the Murdoch media empire have been further exposed after it was revealed Rebekah Brooks told him they were "definitely in this together".
Her text message to the then opposition leader, in which she said she was "rooting for" him personally and professionally, was among missives demanded from News International by the Leveson inquiry.
It provided the backdrop to an uncomfortable period of questioning for the prime minister as he took his turn on the stand at the probe he ordered into press standards after the phone-hacking scandal.
In an all-day interrogation, he said he was haunted by the appointment of ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his spin chief and defended his handling of his Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
He also said he hoped the review would result in a press regulation system with "real teeth" to punish offenders, setting the acid test of success as whether families like that of murder victim Milly Dowler felt they were now protected.
Cameron's close personal friendship with Brooks has proved extremely uncomfortable - the ex-News International chief revealing in her evidence he sometimes signed them off "LOL" to signify "lots of love".
The Tory leader failed several times to give a clear answer as to how frequently the pair met when, as leader of the opposition, he was attempting to win over the support of the Sun newspaper she edited.
A lunch-break consultation of his wife Samantha's diary produced a firmer answer.
The new text message, retrieved by NI from Brooks' BlackBerry records, was sent on the eve of Cameron's 2009 Conservative party conference speech and just days after the Sun switched its support from Labour.
Brooks wrote: "I am so rooting for you tomorrow not just as a proud friend but because professionally we are definitely in this together."
She went on: "Speech of your life? Yes he Cam," a take on a Barack Obama slogan that was used two days later as the Sun's headline to its report of the speech.
Asked about the message, Cameron said: "We were friends. But professionally, me as leader of the Conservative Party, her in newspapers, we were going to be pushing the same political agenda."