The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

-- in my car in Kent, in the remotest countryside just before Christmas last year, and thought: "What am I going to do? I'm late for my appointment." And there was no taxis around, it was Christmassy, it was icy, and then amazingly a car -- van pulled up in the other carriageway of this dual carriageway, and I thought: "Good, some nice Kent-ish person has come to help", and instead out stepped a man with a great long lens. I thought: "I can't believe in the middle of Kent, in the middle of winter, there's a pap." And he came over and he took lots of pictures. I wasn't entirely polite to him. Then to my horror I realised there was no other way of getting to this appointment. He kept saying, "Do you want a lift?" and I thought: "I know this is in your interests that I take the lift", so I kept saying no. Finally I did, so then I was suddenly in the car with this man with my friend, and that is when he revealed that he was an ex-News of the World features editor who is now retired and running a pub down in Dover and he kept his camera in his glove box of his car just in case of some happy accident, which he'd just encountered.

Then he went on to tell me all these fascinating things -- boasting, really -- about how extensive phone hacking had been at the News of the World, how Andy Coulson had known about it for sure, how they had enjoyed the competitive sycophancy of five successive governments, of the way they paid off the police for years, and I was thinking: "This is all amazing stuff. I wish I had a tape recorder."

Then he dropped --

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech