Media mogul met government representatives 12 times in 2022-23 when he was chair of News Corp
The media mogul Rupert Murdoch met Rishi Sunak five times over a 12-month period before he stepped down as the chair of News Corp in September last year, according to government records.
Official records of government meetings, analysed by the campaign group Hacked Off, show that the former head of News Corp – which owns the Times and the Sun newspapers in the UK – personally met government representatives 12 times between October 2022 and September 2023, including five meetings with the prime minister.
These include a dinner in December 2022 and a meeting the following day with Robert Thomson, the CEO of News Corp, Rebekah Brooks, the CEO of News UK, the Times editor Tony Gallagher, former Sunday Times editor Emma Tucker and Sun editor Victoria Newton to “discuss the PM’s priorities”.
The two men then met again in May 2023 for a “politician discussion” and again in June for the Times CEO summit and subsequent party, and in September last year for a “social meeting”. There are no publicly available minutes of the meetings.
The actor and Hacked Off campaigner Hugh Grant, whose damages claim against the Sun publisher News Group Newspapers (a subsidiary of News Corp) is expected to go to trial next year, called for an end to “secretive” meetings between media barons and the government, after the records showed that there were 534 meetings between the press and the government over a 12-month period.