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Brown claims news giant abused its position

GORDON Brown has accused News International of pursuing an agenda through its newspapers to change government policy on the BBC and the British broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.

The former British prime minister also claimed that Rupert Murdoch's news organisation had links with the criminal underworld. He accused News International of being guilty of "an abuse of power for political gain".

Mr Brown gave a rare BBC interview to highlight claims that his personal details were obtained through illegal methods by News International newspapers. He also disclosed how angry and upset he was that 'The Sun' newspaper got hold of details of his infant son's cystic fibrosis and published them.

Mr Brown, who was chancellor of the exchequer for 10 years before he became prime minister, highlighted the pressure put on him by News International papers and executives to change policy to suit them.

He said: "News International had an agenda about the BBC, they had an agenda to neuter Ofcom and they had an agenda also in relation to the pursuit of their own commercial interests.

"And on each of these issues, News International. . . made propositions. . . they had policies we refused to go along with them."

Last night News International said 'The Sun' had not obtained Fraser Brown's medical records.

The newspaper claimed a member of the public had come to it with the information about the cystic fibrosis diagnosis "because he wanted to highlight the cause of those afflicted by the disease". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent