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British PM sympathy for Brooks

6 years ago27 views

reuters

Reuters

A media feeding frenzy as the tables turn on a former tabloid boss.

Ex-News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks arrives in court on Friday to appear before the Leveson Inquiry to answer questions about her relationships with top British politicians.

Rupert Murdoch shut the paper last July when it emerged its journalists had hacked into the voicemails of public figures and a murdered schoolgirl.

The inquiry's lead lawyer wanted the names of politicians who expressed sympathy when she was forced to resign as chief executive of the paper's parent company over the hacking storm.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LEVESON INQUIRY COUNSEL ROBERT JAY QC ASKING:

''Did you receive messages of commiseration or support from politicians?''

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER EDITOR OF NEWS OF THE WORLD, REBEKAH BROOKS, SAYING:

"I received some indirect messages from Number 10, Number 11, Home Office, Foreign Office."

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LEVESON INQUIRY COUNSEL ROBERT JAY QC ASKING:

''So you're talking about secretaries of state, prime minister, chancellor of the exchequer, obviously, aren't you Mrs. Brooks?''

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER EDITOR OF NEWS OF THE WORLD, REBEKAH BROOKS, SAYING:

"And also people who worked in those offices as well (JAY ASKING: Labour politicians - how about them?) Like I say, there were very few Labour politicians that sent commiserations . (JAY ASKING: ok, Mr. Blair, did he send you one?) Yes. (JAY ASKING: but probably not Mr. Brown?) No. He was probably getting the bunting out."

Former prime minister Gordon Brown famously fell out with Brooks over coverage he viewed as hostile and intrusive.

Current prime minister David Cameron has said politicians' ties with Murdoch were far too cosy, but the inquiry has also shone a light on the close social ties between his government and Murdoch's top executives.

Lily Grimes, Reuters

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