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Rupert Murdoch says 'unbalanced' Gordon Brown 'declared war' on News Corp

London, Thu, 26 Apr 2012 ANI

London, Apr 26 (ANI): Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has said former prime minister Gordon Brown was not 'in a balanced state of mind' when he 'declared a war' on News Corporation during a phone conversation in 2009.

Brown phoned Murdoch two years back to confront him about The Sun's decision to switch allegiance to the Tories after it ran a front-page editorial saying 'Labour's Lost It'.

Former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie had told the Leveson Inquiry in 2011 that Brown had 'roared' at Murdoch for 20 minutes, which the News Corp chairman described as a "colourful exaggeration".

Murdoch, in his first account of the conversation, said that Brown had indeed promised retribution.

"Brown did call me and said, 'Rupert, what do you know? What's going on here?'?" he said. "And I said, 'What do you mean?' and he said, 'The Sun, what it's doing and how it came about," The Telegraph quoted Murdoch, as saying.

"I said I was not aware of the exact timing, but, 'I'm sorry to tell you Gordon that we have come to the conclusion that we will support a change of government when there is an election," he said.

"He said, and no voices were raised, 'Well, your company has declared war on my government and we have no alternative but to make war on your company. I said, 'I'm sorry about that Gordon. Thank you for calling. I don't think he was in a very balanced state of mind. I don't know," he added.

According to the paper, Brown had said that Murdoch's claim about him "declaring war" on News Corporation was "wholly wrong" and called on him to correct his account.

"He is wholly wrong. As the Leveson Inquiry heard, The Sun declared for the Conservatives on Sept 30 2009. I did not phone Murdoch or meet him, or write to him about his decision," he said in a statement. (ANI)

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