No record of Brown’s ‘war declaration call’ says Cabinet Office

Have your say

The Cabinet Office has no record of a disputed telephone call in which Rupert Murdoch claims Gordon Brown said he was declaring war on the media mogul, it emerged yesterday.

The only recorded telephone contact between the then Prime Minister and Mr Murdoch in late 2009 was on November 10, when they apparently discussed Afghanistan, a Cabinet Office spokesman said.

Mr Murdoch told the Leveson Inquiry in April that he had spoken to Mr Brown by telephone on the day or soon after the Sun switched its allegiance from Labour to the Conservatives on September 30, 2009.

He claimed Mr Brown accused the Murdoch empire of declaring war on the Labour government, which had no choice but to “make war” in turn.

Mr Brown told the Leveson Inquiry this week that the September call never took place.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said yesterday: “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.

“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.

“Four witness statements have been submitted to the inquiry on the content of the call by staff who worked in No 10 Downing Street and who were the four sole personnel on the phone call.”