Prime Minister David Cameron has recalled Parliament to tell MPs that he would not have appointed Andy Coulson as his communications chief if he had predicted the "furore" it had caused.
In a Commons statement on 20 July 2011, he said he was "extremely sorry" about the decision and he took responsibility for it.
He added that he would give a "profound apology" if it turned out that the assurances Mr Coulson had given him that he was not aware of phone-hacking proved to be false.
He also defended his chief of staff Ed Llewellyn's decision to decline an offer from former Met police Assistant Commissioner John Yates to brief Mr Cameron on the police's phone-hacking investigation.
In the first recall of Parliament since 2002, Mr Cameron updated MPs on the remit of the judicial inquiry into the scandal, which will be led by Lord Justice Leveson, and named the members of the panel for the inquiry.
They are director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, the former chief constable of the West Midlands Sir Paul Scott-Lee, former chairman of Ofcom Lord David Currie, former political editor of Channel 4 news Elinor Goodman, former Daily Telegraph political editor George Jones, and former FT chairman Sir David Bell.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said Mr Cameron had been caught in "a tragic conflict of loyalty" and "hamstrung" by his decision to stand by Mr Coulson.
He alleged that Mr Llewellyn had helped to build "a wall of silence" around the prime minister.
"This catastrophic error of judgment - hiring Andy Coulson, hanging on to him too long - directly contributed to the position Sir Paul found himself in and his decision to resign," said Mr Miliband.
The Labour leader accused Mr Cameron of "consistently ignoring warnings" about his director of communications and said people would have expected "very loud alarm bells" to ring in Mr Cameron's mind following allegations in the New York Times.
"This can't be put down to gross incompetence. It was a deliberate attempt to hide from the facts," said Mr Miliband.