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Tony Blair has dismissed any suggestion of a deal with Rupert Murdoch during his time in office, telling the Leveson Inquiry – “I believed in what I was doing, I didn’t need him to tell me what to do.”
The former prime minister said he had “absolutely not” sought any agreement with the Murdochs over communications and media policy in exchange for support for his party.
However, he said it was “inevitable” that senior politicians would have a “working relationship” with the media, and would “prepare the ground” on any relevant policy decisions.
"If we were about to engage in a major change in policy on an issue that would have mattered to any major media group I think we would have prepared the ground,” he said.
"Of course you were aware that he and, indeed, other papers had very strong stances on issues...If you're a cabinet minister about to take through a difficult piece of legislation you're going to speak to many, many media outlets.
"I don't think there's anything wrong with that and I think it's absolutely inevitable. That is a completely different thing to saying 'you've got a veto over policy'."
This morning’s session was interrupted when a protester, who has since been arrested and released without charge, broke in to the Royal Court branding Mr Blair “a war criminal”.
David Lawley-Wakelin, a documentary filmmaker, accused Mr Blair of conspiring with JP Morgan to “rob the bank of Iraq”.
For full details about all today's developments, see our liveblog here. You can read Mr Blair's Leveson witness statement here.
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28/05/2012 on Daybreak, ITV1
28/05/2012 on Boulton & Co, Sky News
28/05/2012 on The World at One, BBC Radio 4
28/05/2012 on Sky News
28/05/2012 on Newsnight, BBC 2
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
06/12/2013 on World at One, BBC Radio 4
06/12/2013 on BBC News
06/12/2013 on Pooled clip
34 minutes ago