Gordon Brown to testify at phone-hacking inquiry

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah Brown attend The Leveson Inquiry on June 11, 2012 in London.

Story highlights

  • Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown allegedly "declared war" on Rupert Murdoch
  • David Cameron is called to testify next Thursday
  • He has faced questions about his ties to media baron Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks

A former British prime minister who has been a harsh critic of media baron Rupert Murdoch is due to testify Monday at an enquiry spawned by phone-hacking at Murdoch's News of the World tabloid.

Gordon Brown is due to take the stand at the Leveson Inquiry, a wide-ranging probe set up by the British government to examine media ethics.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has already testified.

Murdoch himself spent a day and a half on the stand earlier this year, and said that Gordon Brown had vowed to declare war on Murdoch's News Corp. after one its high-profile tabloids withdrew support for Brown's Labour party.

Cameron, who has been under pressure because of his ties to Murdoch and his former newspaper chief Rebekah Brooks, is scheduled to testify all day Thursday at the Leveson Inquiry.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will be quizzed Monday, as will former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the inquiry's witness list shows.

John Major, another ex-prime minister, will appear Tuesday, as will opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and his deputy, Harriet Harman.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is scheduled to testify Wednesday, ahead of Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is scheduled to testify all day Thursday at the Leveson Inquiry.

The judge-led Leveson Inquiry, set up by Cameron after the phone hacking scandal at Murdoch's News of the World newspaper last summer, is examining the relationship between the media and politicians.

Protester disrupts Blair testimony
Protester disrupts Blair testimony


    Protester disrupts Blair testimony


Protester disrupts Blair testimony 03:12

Blair, in his testimony, said he came under "political pressure" from Murdoch during his time in office but denied that his relationship with the media baron was too "cozy."

Inside the UK phone hacking scandal
Inside the UK phone hacking scandal


    Inside the UK phone hacking scandal


Inside the UK phone hacking scandal 04:54

In April, Cameron told politicians in the House of Commons: "I think we all, on both sides of this house, did a bit too much cozying up to Mr. Murdoch."

David Cameron hacking scandal link?
David Cameron hacking scandal link?


    David Cameron hacking scandal link?


David Cameron hacking scandal link? 02:49

Cameron has faced questions about his ties to Murdoch and Brooks, both of whom have also appeared before the inquiry, particularly in relation to News Corp.'s bid to take full control of British satellite broadcaster BSkyB. The attempt was abandoned amid the furor over phone hacking at News of the World, owned by News Corp.'s British subsidiary News International.

Brooks detailed frequent contacts with Cameron in the run-up to the 2010 election and said she had received commiserations from the prime minister when she resigned from News International last summer.

She and her husband, racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks, were last month charged with interfering with the police investigation.

UK panel: Murdoch 'turned blind eye'
UK panel: Murdoch 'turned blind eye'


    UK panel: Murdoch 'turned blind eye'


UK panel: Murdoch 'turned blind eye' 02:54

Cameron's judgment in hiring former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his communications director has also been called into question.

Coulson resigned from the Downing Street role early last year when police began a new phone-hacking investigation, saying it had become a distraction. He quit the News of the World after two employees were jailed over phone hacking in 2007 but denies knowing of wrongdoing while he was in charge.

Coulson was last week arrested and charged with perjury over court testimony about phone hacking, according to Britain's Press Association news agency.

The Leveson Inquiry was established by Cameron after British public anger at the News of the World about the hacking of voice messages of a missing teenage girl who turned out to have been murdered.

The case of Milly Dowler came on top of apologies from the tabloid for the hacking of the phones of celebrities and politicians and proved to be the last straw for the paper, which was shut down in July.

The inquiry is intended to explore press ethics in Britain more widely, alongside police investigations into phone hacking, e-mail hacking and police bribery by people working for Murdoch's British newspapers.

      The hacking scandal

    • Former News of the World editor and Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson arrives at the phone-hacking trial at the Old Bailey court in London on January 27, 2014.

      Who is Andy Coulson?

      Britain's phone-hacking scandal has seen former tabloid editor Andy Coulson move from the newsroom into the full glare of its spotlight.
    • Timeline of hacking scandal

      How did phone hacking grow into a scandal that threatened Rupert Murdoch's hold on his global media business? Track all the major events.
    • Caption:LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a reception during a visit to Centrepoint's Camberwell Foyer on December 21, 2011 in London, England. The national charity, Centrepoint, provides housing and support to improve the lives of homeless young people aged 16-25. (Photo by Ben Stansall-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      7 amazing things we learned

      The phone hacking trial revealed much about the inner workings of Rupert Murdoch's sex-and-scandal tabloids.
    • Rupert Murdoch (R) his wife Wendi Deng (C) and son Lachlan (L) leave their London home on April 26.

      Why media fights back so hard?

      Media expert Brian Cathcart says Fleet St. has grabbed its megaphone and started bellowing out its usual message: leave us alone.
    • How Murdoch bounced back

      Could the phone-hacking scandal prove to be a blessing in disguise for Murdoch? He claimed to have been "humbled" by the scandal.
    • Read: The Leveson Inquiry report

      The Leveson inquiry is a British government-backed inquiry into illegal eavesdropping and bribery by journalists. Read the final report by Lord Leveson.