The Scots former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has told the Leveson Inquiry into Press standards that neither he nor his wife gave permission to The Sun newspaper to publish a story about a health condition affecting one of their children.
During his appearance at the inquiry this morning, Brown also challenged a claim made by media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, during Leveson, that the former PM had, during a telephone call, 'declared war' on his company, after its newspaper, The Sun, had switched its allegiance from New Labour to the Tories.
Six years ago, The Sun ran a story about Brown's son, Fraser's cystic fibrosis.
The paper's stance – as reported on allmediascotland.com last year – was that the information had been relayed, it is understood to The Sun in Scotland, voluntarily from a member of the public who was hoping for increased public awareness about the condition.
Said The Sun, in a statement also reported on allmediascotland: “The story The Sun ran about their son originated from a member of the public whose family has also experienced cystic fibrosis. He came to The Sun with this information voluntarily because he wanted to highlight the cause of those afflicted by the disease. The individual has provided a written affidavit this afternoon to a lawyer confirming this.”
But today, Brown's local health authority, NHS Fife, issued a statement saying it was “highly likely” that a member of staff had leaked the information.
Said Brown this morning, he and his wife, Sarah, were “presented with a fait accompli”, adding “there was no question of us giving permission for this; there was no question of implicit or explicit permission”.
At Leveson last month, The Sun's then editor, Rebekah Brooks, said “absolutely” to the question whether she had received “express agreement of the Browns, freely given, to publish this story”.
The Leveson Inquiry was set up amid allegations of phone hacking committed by The Sun's now closed sister title, the News of the World.