Gordon Brown The Sun

The Sun denies blagging Gordon Brown's son's medical details


By The Drum Team, Editorial

July 12, 2011 | 3 min read

News International tabloid, The Sun has denied that it accessed the medical details of his son to discover that he has cystic fibrosis.

The newspaper has issued a statement claiming that the story came from a contact who approached the newspaper with the story in order to highlight the disease, from which their own child suffered.

Claims were that the newspaper hired someone to hack into the files to obtain details of Fraser Brown have also been denied by the newspaper.

The statement also reveals that it spoke to Browns colleagues at the time for quotes and says that it handled the story 'sensitively' and as a result saw a growth in the number of donations made to cycstic fibrosis charities that year.

Gordon and wife Sarah Brown have been informed of this by the newspaper and shown sworn testimony by the original source.

The full statement can be read below.

Following allegations made yesterday by Gordon Brown against The Sun, we have been conducting an inquiry. This is in line with normal practice and procedure.

We are able to assure the Brown family that we did not access the medical records of their son, nor did we commission anyone to do so.

The story The Sun ran about their son originated from a member of the public whose family has also experienced cystic fibrosis. He came to The Sun with this information voluntarily because he wanted to highlight the cause of those afflicted by the disease. The individual has provided a written affidavit this afternoon to a lawyer confirming this.

On receipt of the information, The Sun approached Mr Brown and discussed with his colleagues how best to present it. Those colleagues provided quotes which were used in the published piece which indicated his consent to it.

We believe that the article was written sensitively and appropriately. We are not aware of Mr Brown, nor any of his colleagues to whom we spoke, making any complaint about it at the time.

The publication of the story and the further responsible, sympathetic and informative coverage The Sun continued to give to the disease resulted in renewed interest for those affected by it. Donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust nearly doubled over the next year.

We continue to inquire in to other allegations made by Mr Brown, and implore him to provide details to us so we can establish the facts.

Gordon Brown The Sun

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