Wednesday, April 25, 2012

#Leveson : 'Unstable' Gordon Brown Denies Murdoch's War Claim

Ex-Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown has denied News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch's claim that he threatened to "make war" on the media company.

Mr Murdoch told the Leveson Inquiry Mr Brown had phoned him in 2009 after the Sun moved to back the Conservatives.

He quoted Mr Brown as saying: "Well, your company has declared war on my government and we have no alternative but to make war on your company."

But later, Mr Brown responded by saying the allegation was "wholly wrong".

Mr Murdoch had claimed that Mr Brown had not been in a "balanced state of mind" when he made the phone call.

Mr Brown said he did not phone, meet, or write to Mr Murdoch about the Sun's decision to support the Conservatives.

"The only phone call I had with Mr Murdoch in the last year of my time in office was a phone call specifically about Afghanistan and his newspaper's coverage of the war," he said.
"I hope Mr Murdoch will have the good grace to correct his account."

In his written witness statement to the inquiry, Mr Murdoch described attending breakfast and lunches with Mr Brown in which politics and policy were discussed. He added: "I am afraid that my personal relationship with Mr Brown suffered after the Sun no longer supported him politically."

Mr Murdoch said he had frequently met Tony Blair when he was prime minister.

The media mogul said he regarded Mr Blair as a personal friend and enjoyed speaking to him before, during and after his time as prime minister.

In his written statement, he recalled the then-Labour leader speaking "convincingly about the ability of a new Labour Party to energise Britain" at a News Corp conference in 1995.