British chancellor denies conspiracy deal with Murdoch

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British Chancellor George Osborne on Monday said at a public inquiry into media conduct and ethics in the country that there was no "conspiracy" to hand the control of BSkyB to media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

At the Leveson Inquiry, launched after the News International phone hacking scandal, Osborne said that News Corp.'s 8-billion- pound bid for the broadcaster had been a "political inconvenience, " and called the conspiracy claim "nonsense."

BSkyB is the largest pay-TV broadcaster in Britain and Ireland, of which News Corp. owns a 39.14-percent controlling stake. The inquiry is trying to find out whether Murdoch's company promised support for the British Conservative Party during the 2010 elections in exchange for regulatory support of its bid to acquire full control of BSkyB. The bid was dropped in the wake of the hacking scandal.

Earlier in the day, former prime minister Gordon Brown also appeared at the inquiry to give evidence about a news coverage in The Sun newspaper about his son's medical condition.

Brown said that he and his wife Sarah had never given The Sun permission to publish details of Fraser Brown's cystic fibrosis.

But Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief executive, denied the accusation that the story was obtained by hacking into medical records.

The Sun is published by News International, which itself is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Murdoch's News Corp..

British Prime Minister David Cameron will be questioned at the inquiry on Thursday, while Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will appear on Wednesday.

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