Rupert Murdoch to face phone hacking questions
Published Apr 26 2012, 09:31 BST | By Andrew Laughlin Rupert Murdoch
is to face questions today over how he dealt with allegations of phone hacking at his UK newspapers, as he returns for a second day of testimony at the Leveson Inquiry.
The News Corporation
chairman and chief executive has just arrived at the inquiry into press ethics and standards in London.
Yesterday, he discussed his relationship with prime ministers over the past four decades
, including the claim that former Labour leader Gordon Brown once threatened to "make war" on his company.
However, the claim was later denied by Brown, who accused Murdoch of being "wholly wrong".
In his evidence, Murdoch quoted Brown as saying: "Well, your company has declared war on my government and we have no alternative but to make war on your company."
Asked why Brown would say that, Murdoch responded that he was not in a "balanced state of mind" when he made the phone call.
But Brown responded by saying that he did not phone, meet or write to Murdoch about the Sun
's decision to switch allegiance to David Cameron and the Conservatives ahead of the 2010 election.
"The only phone call I had with Mr Murdoch in the last year of my time in office was a phone call specifically about Afghanistan and his newspaper's coverage of the war," he said in a statement.
"I hope Mr Murdoch will have the good grace to correct his account."
© Rex Features / Neil Hall
Today, the media tycoon is expected to face questioning on the way he handled allegations of criminal behaviour at his UK newspaper group, News International, as well as the dramatic closure of the News of the World
last July. He will start giving evidence at 10am. > James Murdoch 'stands by' hacking testimony at Leveson Inquiry
Meanwhile, Labour is maintaining the pressure on culture secretary Jeremy Hunt
over revelations that his department may have secretly supported News Corp's bid to take full control of pay-TV giant Sky.
Yesterday, Hunt resisted calls to resign over a series of emails and texts between his special adviser Adam Smith and a News Corp lobbyist during the bid process over 2010 and 2011.
Smith announced his resignation over the scandal
, but insisted that he had operated without the secretary of state's knowledge, and that Hunt had acted "scrupulously fairly" throughout process.
However, Labour's Ed Miliband has told the BBC that it "beggar's belief" that the culture secretary is still in a job, and noted that the ministerial code makes ministers responsible for the actions of their advisers.
But John Whittingdale, the chairman of the Culture Select Committee, said that it was unclear to what extent the emails were reflective of the true situation, and stressed that it was right to wait for the conclusions of Lord Justice Leveson later in the year.