Monday 27 February 2012

Concerning my relationship with Murdoch and bribes

Some of you will know of a book that bears my name, 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt', which is an adaptation of a kind of folk song or chant well-known in American summer camps and amongst Brownies. In the adaptation with my name on, the great artist Helen Oxenbury has shown a family which appears to have no mother present.

I can now say that Rupert Murdoch, or more precisely, certain members of News International who shall remain nameless have indeed approached me several times to ask if I will reveal the whereabouts of the mother. I can also state today that on no occasion was I offered money to reveal this information. It is for this reason that I can also state absolutely and unequivocally that I never accepted money and have on no occasion revealed the information in question and that my ownership of a house in the Caribbean and another in California has nothing whatsoever to do with this.

Rumours have been circulating all day that the police have been involved in some kind of cover-up. Again, I can state that at no stage have the police been in touch with me over this matter and I would of course be extremely surprised if any officer of the Metropolitan Police, one of the best police forces in the world, would in any way stoop so low as to impede the course of justice on this or any other matter.

'Bear Hunt' remains a personal matter between me, the family in question and Helen Oxenbury and I think we should respect the rights of the family on this. I'm very glad to say that Rupert Murdoch himself, an honourable man, has expressed amazement and incredulity that any attempt would ever have been made  - let alone one involving the passing of money - in order to secure information on this matter. Could I also add that I welcome the arrival on the media scene of a new paper, owned by Mr Murdoch to carry on the great traditions of investigation, entertainment and fun.

I am also very glad to see that Mr Michael Gove, a longstanding friend of Mr Murdoch, has offered support to me on this matter, respecting the fact that I have made this statement.