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Brown Breaks His Silence, Parliament Moves


The BBC reports that former British prime minister Gordon Brown has broken his silence and condemned News International for allegedly gaining his son’s medical details, as well as his “personal bank and legal files”:

Gordon Brown has launched an all-out attack on News International accusing it of using “disgusting” methods to gain access to personal information.

The former prime minister also alleged the newspaper giant had links to the “criminal underworld”.

And he accused The Sunday Times of gaining access to his personal bank and legal files when he was chancellor.

News International said it would investigate Mr Brown’ s allegations and wanted to see all the information.

Mr Brown remained silent about alleged abuses of media power during his time in office — but he has been prompted to speak out by fresh claims in The Guardian that he had been targeted by News International newspapers.

In an interview with BBC News, the Labour MP said he was “in tears” when he was told that the Sun had details of his son Fraser’s medical condition — he has cystic fibrosis — as he had wanted the information to be kept private.

Such as it ever existed, the scope for limiting the response to an internal investigation has long passed, so the task for David Cameron now will be to transmute his role from vaguely implicated to the champion of the investigation:

Prime Minister David Cameron said it appeared Mr Brown had been victim to an “appalling invasion of privacy” and pledged that the government would get “to the bottom of what is clearly an appalling mess”.

In addition to the police investigation, the Guardian is reporting that owner Rupert Murdoch and former editor Rebekah Brooks have been invited to appear in front of a select committee of MPs to answer questions about the scandal. Unlike the U.S. Congress, the British parliament does not have the capacity to compel Murdoch and Brooks to appear in front of the committee, but given the strength of public feeling against the duo, they would be ill-advised to demur.


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