A national newspaper has questioned whether Google is too close to the UK government after discovering that the search giant has had over 20 meetings with senior politicians over the past 12 months.

The Sunday Times uncovered the frequent conferences using Freedom of Information requests; revealing that Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and Steve Hilton, director of strategy for David Cameron, among others, have all met with Google.

Google's executive chariman, Eric Schmidt, is also a member of the Prime Minister's Advisory Council.

More than its fair share

When the Times put to Google that the frequency of its meetings with the UK government amounted to unfair access, it responded with a statement saying, "We talk to governments around the world whenever a proposed legislation would affect our users."

The proposed legislation includes the ideas put forward in the Hargreaves Report relating to online copyrights and use of unlicensed video, music and other creative material online.

However, few other companies have powerful British politicians' ears so regularly – apart from, perhaps, News International. And that's working out pretty well, right?

From The Sunday Times via The Telegraph