I believed that -- and like many people, I guess I sat back and thought: where did we get this wronging? And I think what happened in 2009 is that within the Met, we developed a fixed mindset and a defensive mindset around this whole issue -- and I will come to your point because I think that point around what people were saying about the Guardian article is relevant here.
I think that mindset was based on a number of issues, none of which are an excuse as to why we didn't get this thing right, but I think taken together almost became the foundations of that mindset, which I think made life difficult for us. I think the start of that mindset was very much about: it's inconceivable for people in 2009 to believe that an inquiry led by Mr Clarke would limit itself for any improper purposes. It was inconceivable that Mr Clarke would do that and I still believe that's the case. So that was the first basis for: what is this all about?
I think after that, in the absence of failing to establish what the Met had in its possession -- I think that's been rehearsed in this Inquiry and in various places. That's regrettable. That absence caused the Met to be more and more convinced that the original investigation, therefore, was a success in totality, and of course that wasn't the case.
The investigation in its limitations was a success. It sent a journalist to prison, which is highly unusual. But of course what we didn't do is go back and actually challenge the reasons for those decisions in 2006. And I don't make this to make life more difficult for Mr Yates, because I think Mr Yates acted in good faith, and I'm absolutely convinced about that. We didn't go back and challenge the reasons why it was limited because we didn't know it was limited, and had that taken place, we might have been in a better place.
I also think that in so much as it felt like a successful investigation, that the leader of that original investigation, it was inconceivable he would have done anything improper and he didn't, then the fact that this did not feel like a priority for the matters the Met were still dealing with was a relevant factor in terms of using resource.
I then go on to think that we got ourselves almost hooked on a strategy -- on a defensive strategy that we would not expend significant resources without new or additional evidence. Now, that was a perfectly logical position to be in, providing your assumption around the success of the original investigation was correct, and because we didn't go back and do anything around that, then it seemed a logical place to be.
I think you then add in -- and I'm sorry to take such a long time to get to it, Mr Jay -- what I talk about regarding Mr Malthouse. I don't criticise him for this because it was clearly the case at the time that the mindset that we had -- and this is not a defence, it's not an excuse, but to some extent I believe likely was reinforced with a view, much widely expressed by others, that there was a strong whiff of politics over substance about this matter.
The reality is that was wrong. There was huge amounts of substance there but that was a fairly widely held view, and the fact that Mr Malthouse expressed it, I don't necessarily criticise him for that because nobody wanted to see huge amounts of resource invested in things when we wanted to detect murder, mayhem, et cetera.
I think that view -- and again, not to be critical about it, but I think Boris Johnson himself wrote an article which was about the view of what was this complaint by the Guardian all about. I think that all came together to create this very closed mindset that was defensive in nature, which meant we didn't adopt a challenging mindset, which is the best way to do an inquiry.
So I think it was -- it sounds like a weak word -- unfortunate, but actually, the defensive mindset we established was very much based on the flawed assumption that the original one was successful investigation in totality and the absence of challenge, I think, led us into some difficulty, if that makes sense.