Sun political switch timed for max damage

The Sun formerly gave its backing to the Conservatives today in a move timed to do maximum damage to Prime Minister Gordon Brown – and to have maximum impact.

The day after Brown made his last speech to the Labour conference before the general election, The Sun devoted five pages at the front of the paper today to explaining why it does not want Labour too win another term.

And inside it published an eight-page poster-size pullout called ‘The GB Files’in which it used a series of colourful infographics to explain why Britain has got worse under Labour.

In a front page leader, turning to page two, The Sun said today: ‘Britain feels broken…and the Government is out of excuses.

‘Blair took offices with bulging coffers, an invincible majority and weak opposition, and he and Gordon Brown could have worked miracles.”

But it claims that Labour has failed on crime, schools, health, immigration, children and defence.

The Sun has been courted by politicians since Margaret Thatcher regularly dropped in to the paper’s office to have drinks with then editor Larry Lamb in the late 1970s.

It gave bellicose support to the Conservatives up until the 1997 election when it switched allegiance to Tony Blair.

In 1995 Blair flew out to Australia to meet Sun proprietor Rupert Murdoch. Former Blair press chief Alastair Campbell makes clear in his diaries that securing the support of The Sun was a key plank of his strategy.

The Sun is the UK’s top-selling daily newspaper with a daily circulation of 3.1m and a print readership, according to the National Readership Survey, 7.8m.

Murdoch son James, chief executive of News Corp in Europe and Asia, has made clear that curbs on the BBC to better allow newspapers to expand online are near the top of his political shopping list

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