Former Prime Minister and Sedgefield MP Tony Blair features in phone hacking trial

Tony Blair
Tony Blair

FORMER Prime Minister Tony Blair shared text messages with ex-News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks before she was questioned by police on phone hacking allegations.

Rebekah Brooks texted the former Sedgefield MP Blair that she was “feeling properly terrified” the day before a police interview, the hacking trial heard.

The ex-News International chief executive engaged in a series of texts with the former prime minister in the days leading up to her arrest on July 17, 2011.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC read out the texts which were about Brooks’ forthcoming appearance in Parliament.

At 7.34am on July 16, Brooks told Mr Blair she had an interview with police the next day.

She texted: “Feeling properly terrified! The police are behaving so badly.”

Mr Blair replied: “Everyone panics in these situations” and later: “I’m no use on police stuff but call me after that because I may be some help on Commons.”

The text exchange started on July 10 with Mr Blair saying: “Hi its Tony. I’ve just landed. Is it too late to speak or should we stick with tomorrow?”

Brooks replied: “Let’s stick with tomorrow” adding later “Can’t wait xx”.

They then went on to make arrangements for the call. Mr Blair told Brooks he is in the Middle East, saying: “I’m really sorry about it all. Call me if you need to. Tx”

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard how Mr Blair offered in the phone call to be an unofficial adviser telling Brooks: “It will pass. Tough up.”

Then on July 16, Mr Blair texted: “If you’re still going to Parliament you should call me. I have experience of these things! Tx”

Brooks replied: “Definitely. Depends on the police interview first. I have Stephen Parkinson here today. I have never met him but people say he is good.”

Mr Blair replied: “He’s excellent.”

On the day of her arrest, Brooks texted Blair: “With Stephen now. We are both saying hello. x”