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‘Starmer Cosied Up to the Murdoch Press in the Same Week It Faced New Allegations of Criminality – Why?’

The latest legal claims allege that law-breaking at the Murdoch tabloids has been even more widespread and systematic than previously acknowledged

Photo: Ian West/PA/Alamy

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What is the word for a politician who will do anything to get hold of power? 

The question arises thanks to the front page of Friday’s Sun newspaper, on which, beneath a banner reading “Labour leader at Sun HQ”, we were told that “Keir joins revolt over 3 Lions shirt – he blasts woke flag and high price”. 

There are only two possibilities here. Either the Leader of the Labour Party sincerely believes that the design of the England football shirt is a matter that should properly engage the attention of a leader of the Opposition. Or – surely much more likely – he just doesn’t care what he says so long as it gets him nice coverage in the Sun, in which case he provides an answer to the question above. 

It is actually worse than that, because this is only the latest evidence that Starmer is selling his soul to Murdoch.

He has already attended the media baron’s summer party, paying personal homage to the old man and drinking his champagne. And now he is happy to visit the Sun’s offices and play rent-a-quote in support of a vacuous anti-woke jibe. 

In terms of displaying lack of principle, this obviously does not compete with refusing to call for a ceasefire in Gaza and failing to acknowledge the economic disaster that is Brexit, but it is amoral in its own way.

For the Murdoch press is not only responsible, over decades, for demeaning everything that could be described as decent about Britain and for wrecking the lives of countless innocent people – it is also responsible for wholesale, proven law-breaking. 


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And remarkably, Starmer’s visit to ‘Sun HQ’ took place just a day after we were presented with a new and shocking picture of the scale of that criminality – some of it well established as fact, some in the form of fresh and very detailed accusations.

It comes in a series of monster documents revealed in court, some of which can be accessed here

These latest legal claims allege that law-breaking at the Murdoch tabloids has been even more widespread and systematic, has persisted for much longer and has implicated even more staff and senior executives than previously acknowledged. 

The allegations extend far beyond phone-hacking and unlawful information gathering to include, for example, perjury and the deliberate destruction of evidence of criminality – matters which, you might think, would be of concern to a former Director of Public Prosecutions such as Starmer.  

And though – yes, this needs to be placed on record – the company continues to deny a good deal of it, the Labour leadership should ask itself why the company systematically chooses to avoid confronting the charges in open court and instead pays off the claimants, thus far at a cost of £1.2 billion. 

Quite a few of Labour’s new chums are named in the documents.

There is an awful lot, for example, about Rebekah Brooks, Murdoch’s longstanding CEO in the UK and a former Editor of the Sun. She knew more and earlier about criminal activities than previously admitted, the documents allege, and they suggest directly that she participated in the cover-up. Again, she has denied these things and was cleared of similar criminal charges back in 2014, but the new claims draw on a wealth of evidence not available back then, including evidence relating to the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone. 

The name of the Sun’s current Editor, Victoria Newton, also keeps turning up in the court documents in very dark contexts. How, for example, will she account for the email she sent Brooks in 2006 saying “just blagged the bill from the Dorchester now – 11 grand – v expensive?” 


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And there is veteran Sun reporter Nick Parker who, phone records show, phoned a specialist blagger of medical records 1,763 times between 2005 and 2010 – more than once every working day.

The catalogue of names and worse-than-doubtful alleged behaviour is very long – and the allegations relate to events up to 2011, including during the Leveson Inquiry into the press, when Murdoch witnesses swore blind they had never done anything dodgy. 

Ancient history, people will say. Hardly.

These are people Keir Starmer is associating himself with right now. And remember that Murdoch is also still the owner of Fox, a channel that encouraged an insurrection in the US in 2020. 

People will also say there is nothing new in it all, because Tony Blair sucked up to Murdoch before the 1997 election and Gordon Brown was pally with Brooks before 2010. Well, we now know that Murdoch people hacked Labour phones behind those leaders’ backs – shouldn’t Starmer and his people see that as a warning?

And, of course, people will also say that you need to do unpleasant things to win power, which brings us back to the question we started with. Surely there is a line you don’t cross? And, surely, given all we know about his methods, Murdoch must be on the far side of that line.

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