Tony Blair accused of giving phone hacking advice to Brooks and Murdoch
An email sent by Rebekah Brooks six days before she was arrested in connection with the phone hacking scandal was this morning read out in court, alleging that Tony Blair had offered his services to her, Rupert and James Murdoch as an “unofficial advisor”.
The email, sent by Brooks to James Murdoch read: “I had an hour on the phone to Tony Blair,” before recounting the advice Blair had allegedly given during that phonecall. This included setting up an independent “Hutton style report” to help clear them of any wrongdoing. The reference was to Lord Hutton’s 2003 inquiry which cleared Blair’s Government of any wrongdoing following the death of David Kelly in suspicious circumstances.
Blair apparently told Brooks they would have to “accept shortcomings” and warned Brooks against making “rash short-term solutions as they only give you long-term headaches”.
He is also alleged to have told Brooks to take sleeping pills in order to keep a “clear head” and to “tough up” and “stay strong”. There was an air of nefariousness about the alleged call as Blair supposedly stipulated that his role as advisor had to stay just “between us” according to Brooks.
The prosecution recited the email to the jury at the Old Bailey as part of the concluding remarks of the Crown’s case against Brooks.