No record of ‘war’ call to Murdoch: Gordon Brown
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that records released by the Cabinet Office confirmed that he did not call Murdoch to declare "war" on News Corp.
London: Questioning media baron Rupert Murdoch`s evidence, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Friday said that records released by the Cabinet Office confirmed that he did not call Murdoch to declare "war" on News Corp.
In his evidence in April, Murdoch had told the Leveson Inquiry that Brown had declared "war" on his company after The Sun declared its support for the Conservative party before the 2010 election.
The Cabinet Office said there was no record of a call in September 2009, as alleged by Murdoch.
However, the two spoke to each other on the phone the following month about Afghanistan, it added.
Murdoch had quoted Brown as saying: "Well, your company has declared war on my government and we have no alternative but to make war on your company".
He had added that Brown had not been in a "balanced state of mind" when he made the phone call.
Brown repeated his denial about making the alleged call when he appeared before the inquiry on Monday: "This conversation never took place".
Soon after his denial, New Corp said Murdoch stood by his version of events.
Brown said: "I`m shocked and surprised that it should be suggested, even when there`s no evidence of such a conversation, that it should have happened".
The Cabinet Office said in a statement today: "Following Gordon Brown`s evidence to the Leveson Inquiry on Monday we have received a number of questions about our records, which we provided to Mr Brown to support his preparations for the inquiry".
It added: "We can confirm that there is a record of only one call between Mr Brown and Rupert Murdoch in the year to March 2010. That call took place on the 10th of November 2009. This was followed up by an email from Gordon Brown to Rupert Murdoch on the same day referring to the earlier conversation on Afghanistan".