Skip to main content

Gordon Brown to testify at phone-hacking inquiry

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:25 AM EDT, Mon June 11, 2012
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah Brown attend The Leveson Inquiry on June 11, 2012 in London.
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah Brown attend The Leveson Inquiry on June 11, 2012 in London.
  • 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

London (CNN) -- 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.

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

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

Protester disrupts Blair testimony

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.

Inside the UK phone hacking scandal

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."

David Cameron hacking scandal link?

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."

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.

UK panel: Murdoch 'turned blind eye'

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

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.

CNN's Laura Smith-Spark and Bharati Naik contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 11:32 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
Britain's phone-hacking scandal has seen former tabloid editor Andy Coulson move from the newsroom into the full glare of its spotlight.
updated 10:42 AM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
Rebekah Brooks was once feted as one of the rising stars of the British media.
updated 10:19 AM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
Rupert Murdoch
An old-fashioned press baron with ink running through his veins, a hefty checkbook, and a hunger for the next big story.
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
How did phone hacking grow into a scandal that threatened Rupert Murdoch's hold on his global media business? Track all the major events.
updated 10:17 AM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
The phone hacking trial revealed much about the inner workings of Rupert Murdoch's sex-and-scandal tabloids.
updated 7:34 AM EST, Thu November 29, 2012
Revelations that murdered UK schoolgirl Milly Dowler 's phone was hacked sparked outrage. But who was the girl at the center of the scandal?
updated 1:21 PM EST, Wed November 28, 2012
Media expert Brian Cathcart says Fleet St. has grabbed its megaphone and started bellowing out its usual message: leave us alone.
updated 6:33 AM EST, Thu November 29, 2012
James Murdoch, head of News Corp's European operations
James Murdoch was widely regarded as heir-apparent to his father global media empire. All that changed when the hacking scandal broke.
updated 6:30 AM EST, Fri November 30, 2012
Could the phone-hacking scandal prove to be a blessing in disguise for Murdoch? He claimed to have been "humbled" by the scandal.
The Leveson inquiry is a British government-backed inquiry into illegal eavesdropping and bribery by journalists. Read the final report by Lord Leveson.
Phone-hacking scandal revealed the dark side of tabloid journalism. Should it lead to a stricter press regulation? Share your views with CNN.