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    Monday, 3 September 2007

    Catch up (July): FoI campaign forces disclosure of Blair-Murdoch dialogue

    On 19 July, the MediaGuardian carried details of the number and timings of formal communications between Tony Blair and Rupert Murdoch over an 18 month period in 2003 and 2004. The disclosure of this data had been forced by an FoI campaign waged by Liberal-Democrat peer, Lord Avebury. The Cabinet Office had sought to appeal a ruling by the Information Commissioner in July 2006 that the detail should be disclosed, but ultimately capitulated. Interestingly, of six noted conversations, three took place in the nine days leading up to the onset of the Iraq war. Notwithstanding the absence of information regarding the content of these conversations, Lord Avebury concluded that "Rupert Murdoch has exerted his influence behind the scenes on a range of policies on which he is known to have strong views including the regulation of broadcasting and the Iraq war".

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