Sky News Full Interview With Postal Brown
Relations between Rupert Murdoch's News International and the government disintegrated today during 24 hours of recriminations over the move by its flagship paper, the Sun, to switch allegiance to the Conservatives.Gordon Brown moved quickly to deny any political damage, saying: "It is the people who decide elections." But on one occasion the prime minister was clearly tested, tearing at his ear piece when he made an irritated and overly hasty departure from one TV interview, prompting aides to clarify later it had not been an angry "walkout".
Tony Woodley, joint leader of the Unite union, was cheered as he used a speech to the conference hall to rip up a copy of that morning's edition, while Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman told the conference hall Labour would not be "bullied" by the paper.
Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, told News International's chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, on the phone on Tuesday night: "You will be regarded as a bunch of chumps, we will not lose sleep over this." Earlier reports said Mandelson had used an expletive beginning with C, but Brooks is said to have rung the business secretary to confirm he called her a "chump".