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

I think slightly following on from what I said earlier, I was open-minded but sceptical, best way to describe it. Open-minded because, you know, they'd made this bid and the competition authorities had cleared it in the European -- in Brussels and sort of open-minded to see how they were going to make their case and so on, but sceptical about the danger of, as I said earlier, just too much power being increasingly held in the hands of too few people.

I was quizzical at the beginning about the timing of it, because funnily enough, during those unusual days straight after the General Election when I saw a fair amount of Gordon Brown when there was endless to-ing and fro-ing about how a government would be formed, I vividly remember he at one point -- I'm pretty sure in my own mind he said this to me after it became clear there was not going to be a Labour/Liberal Democrats coalition -- he said something along the lines this is all about Murdoch, that Murdoch wants the Conservatives in government, and so on and so forth, and it wasn't really uppermost in my mind, I was worried about how to form a government so I didn't dwell on it too much.

So then, when the bid was announced a few weeks after the General Election, I thought, oh, right, what's the reason for the timing behind that? And I remember the only time I exchanged any words, and they were very brief indeed, with Rupert Murdoch himself was at a News International summer party, I can't remember, June or July of 2010, and I just asked him, I said, "Why are you doing this now?" and he give me an answer which was not hugely revealing, but so, you know, that -- I was -- I was asking questions about the timing, open-minded to see how the process proceeded, sceptical about the dangers of an excessive concentration of power in the hands of News International.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech