Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown claims he’s the latest high profile victim of the News International hacking scandal.
Brown has accused Rupert Murdoch’s media group of using criminals to illegally obtain confidential details including bank and legal files. His Labour Party had undoubtedly treated its relationship with
News International with importance – courting the support of the newspapers.
The Sun newspaper had claimed to have helped the Conservatives win the 1992 general election and by many it was seen as instrumental in then-Labour leader Neil Kinnock’s loss.
Once The Sun started supporting Labour leaders, the relationship was nurtured and in 1997 Tony Blair got elected.
But Brown never enjoyed the Sun’s blessing; he owes them no favours, which makes his recent accusations againt the Murdoch press hardly surprising.
“The Sunday Times appear to have got access to my Building Society account, they got access to my legal files, there’s some question mark about what happened to other files, documentation, tax
and everything else. But I’m shocked, I’m generally shocked to find out that this happened, because of the links with criminals,” he told the BBC.
Gordon Brown says News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of The Sun at the time of the alleged hacking against him, phoned the Browns in 2006 to say she’d seen their baby Fraser’s medical records and would be running a story on his cystic fibrosis. “This was just after they’d suffered a bereavement with Jennifer [Browns’ first child who died 10 days after being born prematurely] as well.” says David Muir, a former aide to Brown. “They didn’t know how Rebekah came across this information, and now what’s come to light is that it was obtained by what appeared to be illegal means.”
News International says the story about Gordon Brown’s son was obtained from a legitimate source, but even bitter rival and current Prime Minister David Cameron has called the matter “completely unacceptable.”