* Reported hacking took place when Brown was PM and finmin
* Brown family shocked, spokeswoman says
* Wife Sarah tweets 'thank you for your thoughtful messages'
(Adds Brown statement)
LONDON, July 11 Police have said that former
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown may have been a victim of
phone hacking by an investigator working for British newspapers,
his spokeswoman said on Monday.
The Guardian and Independent newspapers reported on their
websites earlier on Monday that journalists from Rupert
Murdoch's newspapers repeatedly tried to hack into Brown's
voicemails when he was finance minister and prime minister.
The Guardian said News International reporters had
repeatedly targeted Brown, trying to access his voicemail and
obtaining information from his bank account, his legal file and
his family's medical records.
Brown's spokeswoman said his family was shocked, but did not
"Gordon Brown has now been informed of the scale of
intrusion into his family's life," she said in a statement.
"The family has been shocked by the level of criminality
and the unethical means by which personal details have been
"The police have confirmed Mr Brown is on Glen Mulcaire's
Mulcaire was a private investigator at the centre of the
News of the World phone hacking scandal.
His wife Sarah Brown said on her twitter page: "So sad to
learn all I am about my family's privacy - it is very personal
and really hurtful if all true.
"Thanks for your thoughtful messages this eve, really
appreciated. Thinking of other families affected who did not ask
to be in public eye."
Allegations of illegal reporting practices have centred on
the News of the World, Murdoch's mass-selling Sunday paper. The
newspaper reports alleged that there had been similar
malpractice at sister papers in the News International stable.
Murdoch closed down the News of the World after it published
Sunday's edition because of the spreading scandal, but his three
other British papers, the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times,
are still operating.
News International, part of Murdoch's News Corp group
, said in a statement that it noted the allegations
concerning Brown. "So that we can investigate matters further we
ask that all information concerning these allegations is
provided to us," it said.
The Guardian said it had uncovered evidence that Brown had
been targeted over a period of more than 10 years, both as
finance minister and as prime minister.
It also reported that a building society had unearthed
evidence suggesting that a "blagger" acting for the Sunday Times
posed as Brown on six occasions and gained details from his
It also said Brown's London lawyers had been tricked into
handing over details from his file by a conman who, it said,
worked for the Sunday Times.
In addition, and perhaps most damaging, a Guardian
investigation found that details from Brown's infant son's
medical records may have been obtained by the mass-market Sun.
The paper revealed in 2006 that Brown's son Fraser had
(Writing by Stefano Ambrogi, Avril Ormsby and Michael Holden;
Editing by Tim Pearce)