UK Politician Peter Mandelson: Gordon Brown, Tony Blair Got 'Closer Than Wise' To Murdoch

05/21/2012 12:09 pm ET | Updated Jul 21, 2012

LONDON (AP) — One of the British Labour Party's most seasoned operatives said his party's leadership may have gotten too close to media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

Peter Mandelson, who served under both Prime Minister Tony Blair and his successor Gordon Brown, said both men may have gotten "closer than was wise" to the Australian media mogul.

Mandelson was speaking Monday before Lord Justice Brian Leveson's media ethics inquiry, which is examining links between Britain's media and senior politicians.

Leveson's inquiry is examining whether politicians and press barons traded favors in the run-up to the phone hacking scandal that brought down Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World tabloid in 2011.

Much recent attention has focused on the warm relations between Murdoch and several British prime ministers, from Margaret Thatcher to David Cameron.

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