A secret meeting between Rupert Murdoch
and Margaret Thatcher
cleared the way for News International
to buy the Times
and Sunday Times in 1981, Thatcher's private files reveal
A long note – marked by her press secretary, Bernard Ingham, as "commercial in confidence" – of the Sunday lunch at Chequers on 4 January, three weeks before the first cabinet committee discussion of the Murdoch takeover, shows the meeting was held at his request.
Thatcher gave the meeting no publicity and instructed that the note should not leave No 10 Downing Street; the media tycoon later gave the impression in the newspaper's own history that he had no contact with the prime minister ahead of Conservative approval of the purchase.