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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/murdochs-were-given-secret-defence-briefings-2326517.html

And, The Big One, how great was Murdoch's influence over Tony Blair's part in the invasion of Iraq

More difficult for Blair to deny have been claims he owes a debt to Murdoch for his newspapers' support during the Iraq war. Freedom of information requests have confirmed the men spoke three times on the telephone shortly before the invasion started.

A new play, Loyalty, showing at Hampstead Theatre and written by the journalist Sarah Helm, wife of Blair's chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, hints at what the two men may have talked about.

In one scene, Murdoch rings Blair to tell him he has been speaking to the US secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld. Murdoch says: "Don's boys need [the UK military base] Diego Garcia, Tony."

Blair signs off: "Right, thanks Rupert." Although the play is a fictionalised memoir, Whitehall insiders say it has the ring of authenticity.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/24/rupert-wendi-murdoch-dine-blairs

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January 2012

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