BORIS JOHNSON wanted to build a Rupert Murdoch academy school in east London, according to information released by Murdoch’s News International company to the Leveson Inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal.
News International revealed that it was ready to put £2 million into the project, which would have given the disgraced newspaper magnate control over parts of the school’s curriculum – maybe practical physics lessons in how to hack into dead girls’ phones, Page 3 replacing biology text books and so on.
Critically, discussions on the Johnson/Murdoch so-called ‘News Academy’ were going on as the phone-hacking scandal took off, back in late 2010.
Johnson, the Tory candidate in this Thursday’s London Mayoral election, has ignored requests to publish his own emails to News International, but the Leveson Inquiry has been provided with some of NI’s internal correspondence on the issue. One, from NI executive Will Lewis, reads:
“Where are we with the schools project, particularly Boris securing the land and Michael Gove the capital investment?”
Other emails reveal that Johnson had regular meetings on the academy with former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch, Rupert’s son and then NI boss.
In the event, the academy scheme fell apart only when Education Secretary Gove pulled the plug.
Johnson has previously met questions on his links to the Murdochs with expletive-filled answers, calling such talk “offensive f***ing b*****s“.