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Fresh revelations say Tony Blair godfather to Murdoch's daughter

world Updated: Sep 05, 2011 21:12 IST

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch's children, fashion magazine Vogue said on Monday, raising fresh questions about close ties between the media tycoon and British politicians.

Blair, according to an interview with the News Corporation boss's third wife Wendi, was present when her two daughters were baptised on the banks of the river Jordan last year.

The relationship was not made public at the time, but features in the piece in the October issue of Vogue to be published on Thursday.

At the time only Hollywood stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman were named publicly as godparents to the youngsters: Nine-year-old Grace and Chloe, eight. Blair did not feature in any of the photographs released.

While Wendi Murdoch does not comment directly on Blair in the article released to Reuters, the piece identifies him as Grace's godfather and says he attended the event "garbed in white". She also describes Blair as one of Murdoch's "closest friends", according to the journalist who wrote the story.

A spokesman for Blair's office declined to comment on the report and News Corp did not immediately return calls.

Prime Minister David Cameron's right-of-centre Conservative party has been criticised for being too close to Murdoch, although former British Labour Prime Ministers Blair and Gordon Brown are also known to have openly courted the media chief.

The revelation will come as an embarrassment to both Blair and the opposition Labour Party which has sought to gain political capital from ties between Cameron and News Corp, a company hit by a phone-hacking scandal.

Cameron's judgment has been questioned after he hired former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his media chief. Coulson resigned earlier this year after fresh accusations of phone hacking at the now-defunct Murdoch tabloid emerged.