Sunday times encounters dating

Claims of an affair between Mr Blair and Ms Deng swept the internet when Mr Murdoch filed for divorce in June.

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’ A spokesperson for Mr Murdoch declined to comment, as did Ms Deng’s spokesman.

We emailed questions to Mr Blair’s spokesperson yesterday morning.

She said she would reply later in the day, but despite repeated calls and emails, declined to make a statement.

But Mr Murdoch is said to regard the rift with Mr Blair as ‘terminal’ and has refused to speak to him since he filed for divorce from Ms Deng in June.

Mr Blair has tried to contact Mr Murdoch but has been rebuffed.

Sources close to Mr Murdoch in London say that staff at his home in California claimed Mr Blair and Ms Deng stayed there overnight at the same time on weekends in October 2012 and April this year, without Mr Murdoch’s knowledge.

It is also claimed that Mr Blair and Ms Deng had ‘multiple encounters’ of which Mr Murdoch was unaware.

They are said to include a weekend overnight stay at Mr Murdoch’s home in Los Angeles and meetings in London and New York.

Mr Murdoch and Mr Blair formed one of the most powerful alliances in British politics, and it was a key factor in the three election victories which kept the Labour leader in Downing Street from 1997 to 2007.

Unlike other leaders endorsed by Mr Murdoch, such as Margaret Thatcher, Mr Blair became a family friend which culminated in Mr Blair becoming godfather to the Murdochs’ daughter Grace in 2010. I use the ranch as a retreat to entertain my executive and senior team members.

Sources close to the household staff at Mr Murdoch’s sprawling million cattle ranch in Carmel Valley, California, said the staff told Mr Murdoch of two overnight stays at weekends by Ms Deng and Mr Blair at the ranch – both without Mr Murdoch’s knowledge.‘I come here because my family and I love it,’ Mr Murdoch said in 2006. People appreciate that you entertain them in your home.’They are friends and Blair is godfather to one of the couple’s children, for heaven’s sake.’ Allies of Mr Murdoch say he was ‘shocked’ to learn Wendi had met Mr Blair without his knowledge, and on more than one occasion – and in particular that Mr Blair had been in his home without him knowing.

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