Murdoch urged Brown to curb Brit Govt. pressure in phone hacking case

April 10th, 2011 - 12:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown London, Apr.10 (ANI): Britain’s former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s cabinet colleague has revealed that media baron Rupert Murdoch had used his political influence to curb pressure from Labour MPs in the phone hacking case investigations against his tabloid.

The ex-minister said he has evidence that Murdoch had sent messages to Brown via a third party last year, urging him to help cool things down as the political heat generated by the case against ‘News of the World’ could be damaging for his company.

Brown, who stepped down as Prime Minister after being defeated in the general elections last year, has refused to comment on the claim, but has not denied it, The Guardian reports.

Sources say Brown had initiated a police investigation into the case and claimed that he was a victim of hacking when he was a chancellor and it has been revealed that he had written at least one letter to the Metropolitan police over concerns that his phone was targeted when he was still at the Treasury.

Brown has denied claims that Murdoch had involved Tony Blair in a chain of phone calls that led to him.

A spokesman for Blair said the claim was “categorically untrue”, adding that no such calls had ever taken place. However, the allegation will add to concerns about Murdoch’s influence over key political figures at Westminster and Downing Street.

News International had issued a public apology to eight victims of phone hacking and had said it would set up a compensation fund for the same. It was the first time the company had admitted the practice was common at the News of the World.

News International has offered to settle with eight people, including well-known names such as former Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, designer Kelly Hoppen and sports commentator Andy Gray.

Others who could be compensated are lawyer David Mills, Joan Hammell, former aide to former Deputy PM John Prescott, Nicola Phillips, assistant to publicist Max Clifford and former Olympian and talent agent Sky Andrew.
However, questions remain over whether the victims will go for a settlement. (ANI)

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