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Former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil submitted a written statement to the Leveson Inquiry yesterday. It strongly suggests that Rupert Murdoch's under-oath claim of never having asked a politician for anything is complete rubbish. Neil's statement implicates Rupert for strong-arming both P.M. Thatcher and later, P.M. Blair.

From the BBC:

"There was at least one time ... when Mr Murdoch's support for Mrs Thatcher paid business dividends and undermines the accuracy of his claim to the Inquiry that he has never asked politicians for anything," wrote Mr Neil, now a BBC presenter.

"In the run-up to the Wapping dispute he made it clear to me one night in late 1985 in my office that he had gone to Mrs Thatcher to get her assurance - to 'square Thatcher' in his words - that enough police would be made available to allow him to get his papers out past the massed pickets at Wapping once the dispute got underway."

Mr Murdoch received assurances from Mrs Thatcher, Mr Neil said, "on the grounds that she was doing no more than upholding the right of his company to go about its lawful business".

As for Rupert's manipulation of Tony Blair, here is an excerpt from the Guardian:

Neil claimed that the Labour party's 2003 Communications Act ended the ban on foreign ownership of TV licences, paving the way, in the years to come, for News Corporation to attempt to buy the 60% of BskyB it did not own.

"This was something Mr Murdoch's people lobbied hard for, with his support, and they had unique and extensive access to the levers of power at the heart of the Blair government to make this lobbying effective," wrote Neil


The former editor also said that he believed that Blair and Murdoch had come to an understanding in the run up to the 1997 election which saw Labour swept to power.

These accusations appear to have Rupert running scared, at least to the point he felt it neccessary to tweet today:

"Anyone taking any notice of Andrew Neil on me is an idiot. Neil treated bestof [sic] all ex-employes [sic] now shows true colors."

Sorry, Rupert, but just because you treated an ex-employee "best" of all the others, doesn't mean he has to help you cover up your criminal activity.

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