Rupert Murdoch has derided as “fake news” a widely reported quote attributed to him saying that at Downing Street, unlike Brussels, “they do what I say”.
The full quote was first reported by Anthony Hilton writing in the Standard in February this year.
Hilton wrote: “I once asked Rupert Murdoch why he was so opposed to the European Union.
“‘That’s easy,’ he replied. ‘When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice.’
“That was some years ago but things have not changed that much.”
The quote has been widely repeated since the in The Guardian and elsewhere.
The debate over whether Murdoch uses his media power to improperly influence the political process is again in the spotlight as his company, 21st Century Fox, seeks to buy the 61 per cent of Sky that it does not already own.
Murdoch said in a letter to The Guardian: “On a number of occasions now your paper has quoted me as saying: ‘When I go into Downing Street, they do what I say; when I go to Brussels, they take no notice.’
“There is much fake news published about me, but let me make clear that I have never uttered those words. I have made it a principle all my life never to ask for anything from any prime minister.”