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

I think he makes a perfectly fair point, which is just a statement of fact, that for large parts of the press in the run-up to the General Election -- I don't think I'm putting it too strongly when I say the Liberal Democrats were a subject of indifference at best and derision at worst, and that -- and he describes his own experience as editor of the Sun, that there was almost a sort of instruction to deride or ignore the Liberal Democrats.

So if that's what you're used to in the press, it must come as a bit of a shock, I guess, when you suddenly have these people who you've been either ignoring or deriding suddenly doing well in a General Election campaign. I think self-evidently the reaction of some parts of the press was pretty ferocious after that because things from their point of view were not going according to plan. If you've placed your bets in favour of other parties and suddenly this upstart party, if you like, intrudes on the plan, you panic a bit and you start lashing out a bit, which is what happened, and that's exactly how I saw it.

I didn't find it surprising. I still don't find it surprising. That's the nature of politics, that's the nature of the alignment between particular parties and particular press groups. And if you have aligned yourself with one team, the blue team or the red team, and suddenly the yellow team comes in, you want to get them off the field of play, and you do that by the time honoured fashion, not going after the ideas but going after the -- how can I put it? You go after the man, not the ball. Again, that doesn't -- that's just -- that's as old as the hills.

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