Monday 22 January 2018

Gordon Brown: I was in tears over expose

Gordon Brown and his wife, Sarah, with their son Fraser Brown
Gordon Brown and his wife, Sarah, with their son Fraser Brown

Sam Lister and Andrew Woodcock

Former British prime minister Gordon Brown spoke movingly today about how Rebekah Brooks, as editor of the Sun, revealed the paper was about to break the story of his son Fraser’s diagnosis of cystic fibrosis.

“They told me that they had this story about Fraser’s medical condition and they were going to run this story,” he said admitting that he was in tears.

“Your son is now going to be broadcast across the media. Sarah and I were incredibly upset about it. We were thinking about his future. We were thinking about our family. But there is nothing you can do about it. You are in public life.”

Sources at The Sun today claimed that the story about Mr Brown’s son came from a family friend and not from the child’s hacked medical files.

The Labour MP also accused the Sunday Times today of using criminal activity to intrude into his private family life.

He spoke out after it emerged that "blaggers" had been used to access personal files, including his bank account.

He told the BBC: "I think that what happened pretty early on in government is that the Sunday Times appear to have got access to my building society account, they got access to my legal files, there is some question mark about what happened to other files - documentation, tax and everything else.

"I'm shocked, I'm genuinely shocked, to find that this happened because of their links with criminals, known criminals, who were undertaking this activity, hired by investigators with the Sunday Times."

News International sources were quoted last night as saying they were "comfortable" that stories reported by the Sun about Mr Brown's children were obtained via legitimate means. It has been alleged that the information was gleaned form the child’s medical files.

In a statement, News International said it noted the allegations about Mr Brown, adding: "So that we can investigate these matters further, we ask that all information concerning these allegations is provided to us."

Mr Brown added: "I just can't understand this - if I, with all the protection and all the defences and all the security that a chancellor of the Exchequer or a prime minister, am so vulnerable to unscrupulous tactics, to unlawful tactics, methods that have been used in the way we have found, what about the ordinary citizen?

"What about the person, like the family of Milly Dowler, who are in the most desperate of circumstances, the most difficult occasions in their lives, in huge grief and then they find that they are totally defenceless in this moment of greatest grief from people who are employing these ruthless tactics with links to known criminals."

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