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Murdoch 'pushed Blair over Iraq'

Rupert Murdoch was part of an "over-crude" attempt to push Tony Blair into action in Iraq, Alastair Campbell has claimed.

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Murdoch 'called' Blair over Iraq

Rupert Murdoch was part of an "over-crude" attempt to push Tony Blair into action in Iraq, Alastair Campbell has claimed. Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

On March 11 2003 in his book Burden of Power, Countdown to Iraq, which is being serialised by The Guardian, Campbell wrote: "(Tony Blair) took a call from Murdoch who was pressing on timings, saying how News International would support us, etc.

"Both TB and I felt it was prompted by Washington, and another example of their over-crude diplomacy. Murdoch was pushing all the Republican buttons, how the longer we waited the harder it got."

The following day he added: "TB felt the Murdoch call was odd, not very clever."

Mr Campbell claims in 2002 Downing Street believed the then chancellor Gordon Brown was "hell-bent on TB's destruction" as a result of his behind-the-scenes manoeuvring.

The former No 10 communications director also suggests that his former boss believed the Prince of Wales had been "captured by a few very right-wing people", following the publication of leaked letters he wrote about a US-style compensation culture in 2002.

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