Rupert Murdoch revealed he was invited to have a cup of tea as a thank you by the Prime Minister David Cameron within days of the general election last year.

News Corp boss, Murdoch Snr, admitted he had entered No 10 through the back door after being asked to. Apparently, he believed, to avoid photographers.

“I just did what I was told,” Murdoch added. “That's the choice of the Prime Minister, or their staff, or whoever does these things. I was asked would I please come in through the back door.

“I was invited within days (of the election) to have a cup of tea to be thanked for the support by Mr Cameron. No other conversation took place.”

Rupert Murdoch said he was also invited by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown “many times” and had also gone in through the back door on those occasions.

He denied imposing any “preconditions” on party leaders before giving them support.

Asked whether he would expect his editors to tell him about making six-figure pay-offs to victims of phone-hacking, Murdoch said he would not, saying his conversations with his editors were more likely to relate to how many pages had been devoted to football that week.

Murdoch described his contact with his editors as “seldom” claiming he didn’t try to influence what they had so to say. “To say that we are hands-off, though is wrong,” he said. “The News of the World we lost sight of, maybe because it was so small in the general frame of our business.”

Murdoch also claimed Britain benefits from having a competitive press which makes society transparent. "That is sometimes very inconvenient to people," Murdoch said.

Rupert Murdoch and his son James Murdoch appeared before a parliamentary select committee today, answering questioning about the News of the World phone hacking scandal.