Former Conservative prime minister Sir John Major today told an inquiry into press standards that media tycoon Rupert Murdoch asked him to change policy on Europe.
Mr Murdoch - owner of The Sun and The Times - warned that without change his newspapers would not support the then Conservative Government, Sir John told the Leveson Inquiry.
Sir John said the conversation took place during a dinner in February 1997 - a few months before Labour defeated the Conservatives at an election.
"Mr Murdoch said he really didn't like our European policies," Sir John told inquiry chairman Lord Justice Leveson. "That was no surprise to me."
Sir John added: "He wished me to change our European policies. If we couldn't change our European policies his papers could not, would not support our Conservative Government.
"As I recall he used the word 'we' when referring to his newspapers. He didn't make the usual nod to editorial independence."
Sir John told the inquiry: "There was no question of me changing our policies."
In April, Mr Murdoch told the Leveson Inquiry: "I have never asked a prime minister for anything."
He added: "If any politician wanted my opinions on major matters, they only had to read the editorials in The Sun."
Mr Major told the inquiry today that he had dinner with Mr Murdoch on February 2 1997.
"Just before the 1997 election it was suggested to me I ought to try to make some effort to get closer to the Murdoch papers," he said. "I agreed I would invite Mr Murdoch to dinner."
He said he thought Mr Murdoch was "edging towards" a referendum on leaving the European Union after raising the European policy issue.
Sir John, Conservative prime minister between 1990 and 1997, said the "matter" was not pursued.
He said the discussion was one he was unlikely to forget.
"It is not often someone sits in front of a prime minister and says to a prime minister 'I would like you to change your policy or my organisation cannot support you'," Sir John added.
"It is unlikely to be something I would have forgotten."
Sir John said he met Mr Murdoch three times during his premiership - in 1992, 1993 and 1997.