UK politicians, media had 'incestuous' ties

2012-05-16 20:08

kalahari.com

London - Britain's politicians and its powerful media were uncomfortably close while Tony Blair ran the country, a former UK minister said on Wednesday.

Jack Straw, who held several key posts, told an official inquiry into media ethics that journalists and Blair's Labour Party had forged "very, very close, sometimes incestuous" ties while Blair strived for power, and that those links endured when he became prime minister in 1997.

Blair served as Britain's chief for a decade - handing over to his successor Gordon Brown in 2007.

Current British Prime Minister David Cameron has already acknowledged he developed ties to the media that were "too close" while he was opposition chief.

Straw, who served as foreign secretary, home secretary, and justice secretary, said he believed that newspaper baron Rupert Murdoch, whose holdings extend to television and film, took advantage of his relationships with lawmakers to consolidate his media interests.

"The perception I have got is that Mr Murdoch is enjoying the fact that he has been willing to play with political leaders in the way that the senior executives of the other papers have not," Straw said.

Relationship with Brooks


Straw was testifying before Lord Justice Brian Leveson, who is investigating whether British politicians and newspaper proprietors traded favours - part of a wide-ranging inquiry into media ethics.

The inquiry, set up after the eruption of a scandal over phone hacking and bribery at Murdoch's News of the World tabloid, has heard evidence of frequent meetings and discreet dinners at which top politicians and senior Murdoch executives talked business.

But Murdoch and several senior lieutenants have repeatedly denied asking for favours, either explicit or implied, when weighing which political party or candidate to support.

Straw, a senior member of Britain's opposition Labour Party, also spent time describing his relationship to Murdoch protégée Rebekah Brooks, who used to run the News of the World.

He said the pair took the train to London together weekly, trading gossip and talking about the issues of the day.

Brooks has since become one of the highest-profile casualties of the phone hacking scandal. She, her husband Charlie, and four aides have been charged with conspiring to conceal evidence from officials investigating allegations of wrongdoing at the now-defunct tabloid.

All those involved deny the allegations, but the charges raise the prospect of courtroom disclosures that could embarrass Murdoch - who reportedly thought of her as a daughter - and Prime Minister David Cameron, a friend and neighbour of the Brooks' who often traded text messages with Rebekah and went horse riding with Charlie.

- AP
Read more on:    rupert murdoch  |  david cameron  |  rebekah brooks  |  tony blair  |  uk  |  uk hacking scandal  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to let go of expectations and just see where the wind takes you. You are in the mood to make the most of any...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.