John Major denies "bucket of shit" story

The famed exchange with Kelvin MacKenzie never took place, says the former PM.

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Appearing before the Leveson inquiry, John Major has just denied that former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie ever uttered the famous words: "I've got a bucket of shit on my desk, prime minister, and I'm going to pour it all over you."

In his own appearance at the inquiry, MacKenzie told Robert Jay QC (see video, below) that the alleged exchange took place after Major phoned him following the UK's exit from the Exchange Rate Mechanism on "Black Wednesday" in 1992.

But his account was contradicted by Major, who said: "Perhaps my memory is very faulty indeed but I certainly don't recollect the same conversation that has been circulated".

"There are more myths about Black Wednesday than the Greeks ever created," he wryly added.

Both men were, of course, under oath, so who's telling the truth?

Former British Prime Minister John Major arrives to give evidence at the Leveson inquiry. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is senior online editor of the New Statesman.

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