I remember very clearly the conversation, which, as I say, took place on holiday. I happened to be by the swimming pool with very close friends that I was on holiday with. The conversation didn't take very long, but I am absolutely clear that I sought clarification about what further I should do, expressed my willingness to help in any way that I could but was assured that at that stage there was nothing further that I needed to do.
My principal private secretary, who has also given a statement to the police, has confirmed that she followed up the telephone conversation to me with a further conversation and a subsequent conversation to establish whether further help was necessary from me, and I have -- I then this a further call -- at the end of the conversation, I remember saying -- I mean, I was shocked by what I'd heard, but at the same time it answered a lot of questions that I had about why I was followed everywhere and why there were always people outside my house, why people seemed to know -- you know, photographers or journalists seemed to know where I was going. It did provide an explanation but at the same time, as has been subsequently revealed, the invasion of my privacy was total during that period.
Now, that's why I remember it so clearly, but I would also say I was a secretary of state and a privy councillor. It would have been absolutely incumbent on me, were I asked to co-operate with an inquiry, to agree to. My principal private secretary, who is a civil servant, confirmed my willingness to help, as too the two friends that I was on -- who I recounted this too, are also absolutely clear about the account of the conversation that I gave them.
What happened after this conversation was that I was told that somebody from Vodafone, my mobile phone provider, would be in touch with me to increase my security. Vodafone gave me a new PIN number and some weeks later I was telephoned again by the police to be told that a prosecution was going to be brought against Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire. I asked if I needed to provide a statement or further assistance. I can't remember the precise word that I used, but it was essentially an offer of any assistance with the inquiry, and was told very clearly that I wouldn't be needed as a witness because they had witnesses from the royal household who would support the prosecution.
That was the end of it, and I was deeply shocked when I read Keith Surtees' evidence because it is untrue, and I completely understand that his memory may be faulty and I think that the way the transcript reads seems to imply a lack of accuracy in his recollection, but I would want the Inquiry to be absolutely clear that had I been asked at that time to provide a witness statement, I would have provided it.