Brown denies 'aggressive' call
Jun 11 2012
Gordon Brown denied behaving aggressively towards Rebekah Brooks when he telephoned her expecting an apology for negative coverage, only to be told more was to come.
The former prime minister told the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics that he was led to believe by Rupert Murdoch that the then News International chief executive would say sorry for a slew of damaging stories about his handling of Afghanistan.
But when he made the telephone call Mrs Brooks instead told him she had a taped conversation of him apologising to the furious bereaved mother of a soldier about a condolence letter he had sent her that was littered with mistakes.
Mr Brown also repeated previous denials that he had "declared war" on the Murdoch empire after it decided to switch support to the Conservatives ahead of the last general election. He said the conversation where he was "alleged to have acted in an unbalanced way" as well as threatening Mr Murdoch "never took place".
The Inquiry was told all telephone conversations with newspaper proprietors would have gone through the Downing Street switchboard, not on mobile phones. He added: "I would not have known Rupert Murdoch's phone number."
Mr Brown spoke to Mr Murdoch on November 10, 2009, over The Sun's coverage of Afghanistan and also sent him a follow-up email later that day. He told the Inquiry the newspaper had published a story criticising him for not bowing at the Cenotaph as well as an article about a letter he sent to Jacqui Janes, whose 20-year-old son Jamie, a Grenadier Guardsman, was killed by an explosion.
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