Murdoch’s News International was on the ropes, blows coming from left and right, his power waning. What better time for Brown, still bitter about the day of his conference speech switch of support by The Sun to the Tories, to exact his revenge. But in true Jonah Brown style, he couldn’t even hit the back of the net of an open goal.
Pretending to merely “comment” on two-bit allegations he himself fed to the Guardian, he ignored the fact that the PCC rules allowed the Sunday Times to use subterfuge in the public interest, and he flew a kite with the unsubstantiated medical records claim. Something he had to row back from in yesterday’s interview.
You can bet rivals at the Guardian, The Telegraph and the BBC didn’t expect the Sun’s original source, another father of a child with cystic fibrosis, to be willing to sign an affidavit swearing he had never seen the medical records. Only Gordon could fail so spectacularly to score an open goal and he has managed to derail the Guardian’s campaign – because of him News International have a hook to fight back on and they are with today’s Sun front page. If Gordon wanted he could have gone to the PCC and invoked 6 (v) of the PCC code, which would have killed the story, or complained afterwards. If Rebekah Brooks made him cry it seems odd that he subsequently went to her wedding, attended her birthday party and got Sarah to host a “girls” sleep-over at Chequers with Rebekah Brooks and Wendi Murdoch. A big round of applause for Jonah from Wapping.
*Source for Gordon’s “I will destroy you” threat to Murdoch is the founding chairman of Sky and former editor of The Sunday Times, Andrew Neil.