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

  • MR MARK THOMSON (sworn).

  • Mr Thomson, could you give us your full name, please?

  • Mark Walter Harold Thomson.

  • And your professional address?

  • You voluntarily provided the Inquiry with a witness statement, which is signed and dated 7 November 2011. Are the contents of the statement true and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief?

  • The statement is going to be taken as read, Mr Thomson, so we don't need to go to all of it. But you set out in the introductory section your professional credentials as a media lawyer?

  • It's right, isn't it, you've been practising media law for something in excess of 20 years?

  • And that you have acted, if I can put it this way, for both sides, but most recently predominantly against tabloids in the popular press?

  • And that you also have experience of media-related regulatory work?

  • You're an author in the field and you also have had recently a particular interest in representing the victims of voicemail interception?

  • You go on in your witness statement to deal with breach of confidence actions. You give as an example a case in which you acted for Hugh Grant in 1996 and 1997, concerning information emanating from a hospital.

    You say that at paragraph 12 after supremely lengthy and unsatisfactory dealings with the PCC, legal proceedings were issued?

  • Are these the proceedings which Mr Grant told us about?

  • The incident, so we can bring it to mind.

  • The hospital, yes, exactly.

  • Could I ask you, from your perspective as a professional media lawyer, what was unsatisfactory about the PCC's handling of this case?

  • They were slow and their concern and I think the Mirror's concern was the impact of an adjudication on possible future proceedings. So the jurisdictional question was, I think they were trying to suggest that Mr Grant ought to waive legal claims before the Mirror adjudicated. He wasn't prepared to. I think there was over six months', maybe nine months' delay before they finally adjudicated in the form we've seen. It was a very short adjudication and it didn't deter the Mirror, because when we issued proceedings, they defended initially the claim for breach of confidence, so it had no effect apart from delay.

  • Moving from that particular example to the general, at various places in your witness statement you tell us about the PCC. Can you tell us in a nutshell what you consider to be the problems with the current PCC set-up?

  • They wear too many hats. They appear to represent the media at times, such as in the Parliament, they appear to be speaking as their trade union spokesman. The other times they're trying to adjudicate as independent persons, and then they try and mediate at the same time, and I think that in small part they're effective. Notification of harassment is --

  • If I just stop you there and we'll pick up on that point of independence. What do you think can be done about that?

  • Well, I really don't think that just a few adjustments to the PCC will work. I think my view, having done a lot of broadcasting work, is the only way -- if Parliament and everyone wants proper regulation, it has to be something like the ITC, an independent regulator with power to investigate, and that means power to call for evidence, draft articles, emails, the powers to fine, so that newspapers are actually -- take it seriously, and powers to order corrections or -- not apologies, necessarily, because that has to be voluntary, but powers to order corrections on the same page as they appeared. And unless that happens, a PCC with a few extra teeth isn't going to work, in my view.

  • You'd better explain for those that don't understand something about the background of the ITC.

  • There's been a number of regulatory bodies in broadcasting, but the ITC was a precursor to Ofcom, and the ITC were the regulator for commercial stations. They derived from one of the many broadcasting acts, but they had considerable power to investigate of their own motion without necessarily a complaint being made, to order corrections, statements about whether there's been an intrusion, and when -- I know, because I acted for Carlton TV, when you get a notice from the ITC, you take it seriously.

    On the investigation that the ITC did for Carlton, they asked for hundreds of hours of background tape recordings of the programmes in question. It took nine months to investigate, and I had thousands of hours of tape recordings in my room, but they did a complete and thorough investigation. They asked searching questions, asked for documents, and they adjudicated Carlton were not in breach and it was a great relief, but the broadcasters took it seriously because they could be fined.

    Carlton had been fined two or three years before, I think £1 or £2 million in relation to another programme, so they knew the effect, and Carlton took it seriously and it was dealt with seriously and other broadcasters I know, because I at times acted for them, thought the ITC were effective. My view is that in private, most newspapers don't think the PCC are effective, but that's how they want it.

  • Picking up on the question of being taken seriously, you do make clear in your statement, and you've just repeated it now, that you don't think that the media take the PCC warnings seriously. I'd like to ask you, are you referring across the board or to a particular section of the media or to a particular title?

  • I think it's across the board, really, but mainly non-broadsheet newspapers, so red top and tabloid newspapers. They don't want the PCC to be effective, in my view. They're quite happy with it as it is. They may say they want a few more tweaks to make it tougher, but as long as the PCC exists, this current activity will continue.

  • Whilst you are, I think, on balance very critical of the PCC in your statement, it's right to say, isn't it, that you do point out that there are some things that they have done successfully. Could you tell us, and having told us about the bad, could you tell us about the good, please?

  • Yes. They've developed -- they occasionally do get involved pre-publication, it used to be they only covered what was published but now they've changed their rules, they do get involved in pre-publication situations into news gathering and in particular harassment.

    So what we did in the Hugh Grant matter, and it worked to a limited degree, was I sent them an email, we asked them -- this is the Tinglan Hong harassment, but I've used this process before. I sent an email expressing concern about a media siege of Tinglan Hong's house, and they passed it on to the media and also recently, it's a good development, they've contacted picture agencies as well. So they pass on the message and endorse it, saying, "This is unacceptable", and it's a good way to circulate notices, but ultimately, if the media and the paparazzi agencies want to do it they will do it anyway, which is why we had to get a court order later.

  • I see. Could I move away from the PCC to the question of prior notification --

  • No, before you go there, can I just come in on that?

  • There are two things that I want to just ask you about in relation to what you've just said. The first is that the PCC's reach was wide enough to extend to photographing -- photographers and their organisations, in the sense that they gave out the notice to them.

  • Well, it wasn't, it is voluntary, and this is the point, that they have -- I mean I've had conversations with them. It's not part of their remit, but -- so technically they don't regulate photographers, and I've spoken to agencies as well. They don't have power to regulate independent agencies or news agencies, it's just publishers, and this is a problem.

    A lot of the product that newspapers produce comes from freelancers, freelance journalists, freelance photographers, but what they thought, even though they don't have the power or the reach, is that we will at least notify the agencies, and that's a good idea, but their constitution doesn't allow for it, which is why in my view the PCC plus won't work. Any new proper regulator has to deal with not just the publishers, but the independent agencies, photographic agencies and freelancers.

  • How can you define that? I'm not asking you necessarily to do it off the top of your head, but if you've given some thought to this issue, how you might define that group is not unimportant.

  • Well, photo journalists, journalist agencies, people involved in producing stories for the media. This is why I think the PCC can't -- it structurally can't work in the sense that the structure is just about the newspapers, whereas in reality some of the worst -- Sienna Miller's explained some of the worst activities in relation to photographic agencies, and they're independent, and in reality the PCC can't regulate that and the newspapers turn a blind eye on how they got the material. As long as they have great photographs of someone getting angry or crying, they'll publish the photograph.

    So my view is the regulator -- an effective regulator has to deal with news-gathering persons wherever they're from in this country, so whether it's a paparazzi freelancer, an employed paparazzi or news agencies, that has to be dealt with and that's the only way it will be effective.

  • Then you have to be able to identify them.

  • A lot of them have NUJ cards, even paparazzis. They sometimes say, "I have an NUJ card". It's relatively easy in my view to work out --

  • So you could create a list, could you?

  • You might like to think about doing that.

  • The other question that I wanted to ask before you go on to the topic Mr Barr wanted to cover was the way in which this would ever work in relation to publications that aren't traditional periodicals, whether they be magazines or newspapers, and more particularly, more specifically, the Internet.

  • Well, I mean the Internet is difficult, and there's convergence, which means that the BBC now compete online with the Daily Mail and it is an issue. In reality, the Ofcom regulations don't cover the BBC online, but only cover BBC on radio, so the regulations are a complete mess in my view and need to be sorted out across the board.

    I think in the list that I could provide you with, the most damaging publications are the publications of traditional news websites, so whether it's the BBC or Daily Mail or the Mirror, the online publications have significant effect, whereas minor websites -- minor websites are probably beyond regulation. But that doesn't mean that regulation shouldn't take place, because the real damage occurs to the traditional newspapers and broadcasters who make money off those news platforms. So it's workable. You can do that.

  • It's not just minor websites. It's also bloggers and the rest of them.

  • Yes, that's an issue as well. There are ways. I mean there's an issue about when someone's blogging about you, whether strategically a complaint ought to take action -- bring attention to someone whose following is 100 or 150. In fact in reality whether it's a legal complaint or a regulatory complaint, possibly complaining about a blogger is self-defeating because you bring attention to something which is best ignored. My view is that on those small websites, best ignored until they reach a critical mass of attention in a newspaper.

    If you run around trying to worry about every single blog on the Internet, you'll end up sort of paranoid and mad, and that's not worth it.

  • I don't want to get myself into that position. All right, thank you. Yes?

  • Indeed putting some clear blue water between paranoia and madness, can we move on to prior notification and you tell us a little bit about that in your statement. I'd particularly like to explore with you what you say about the trend that you've observed with prior notification. You describe that now there's rather less prior notification given than there used to be.

  • Can you perhaps give us some detail about that? Has this been a progressive decline or a sudden decline?

  • It's a progressive decline. I've got to make a distinction. Although I've had many disputes with Associated, and quite a lot of my work is against them, in fact, oddly or not, they tend to notify almost all their stories. You do tend to get the Friday afternoon email from Associated much more often than any other newsgroup. But the other, the red tops tend less and less to notify on bigger stories, and as someone said before here, the bigger the story, and perhaps the more intrusive the photograph, the less likelihood there is.

    The photographs are generally potentially more intrusive, and the media groups recognise that and hence the reason not to notify, because if they say, "And there's an intrusive photograph of someone in their garden or semi-naked", it's pretty obvious that a lawyer may well advise to instruct counsel to apply to court immediately. They want to sell newspapers, they don't want to be injuncted, they don't notify.

  • Have I understood you correctly that you think the motive that is driving this is a desire to prevent injunctions --

  • Yes, it was admitted in the Mosley case, but yes, it's quite clear. They don't want to be stopped. They rather -- and for clients who've seen -- if there's an intrusive story that has been published, you don't get notification, many clients say, "It's out now, I have to deal with it, I have to explain to everyone about it", they'd rather not take action about something that's come out, and that's a calculation. The media don't want to be stopped, but they realise that to sue on something that's private is going to be difficult, it's going to be embarrassing, it involves people talking about their private life to some extent, and the media win by not notifying.

  • So is there a gradation then? Is there any pattern? Is it on the more intrusive stories that you tend not to get a notice?

  • Yes, the more intrusive stories. My experience of the tabloids, and I include the Daily Mail in that, although they strictly are not, is that it's the intrusive stories that are of great concern. The Daily Mail does tend to notify. The others tend not to notify, more and more so, and it's the intrusive photographs of the intrusive stories. We can all spot something really intrusive. It's what they would want on the front page of a Sunday newspaper. The more intrusive it is, the less likelihood it is -- or even if they do notify, they might notify at the last possible moment on Saturday afternoon when someone's shopping or not available, so they choose their time well, if they do notify, but it's less so now than it used to be.

    In the 1990s, I said in my statement, in the 1990s, you would always get notification. You would or would not get injunctions, but you would -- it was unheard of not to get notification. But then around about 2001, 2002, when the Human Rights Act came in, maybe they were worried about it, it became less and less.

  • I see. I'm getting the impression that your evidence on this issue is the problem particularly with the tabloid end --

  • Can I take it it's not a problem with the broadsheets?

  • Yes, I don't think -- I think I've only sued the broadsheets once or twice in the last 20 years, but -- for confidence or invasion of privacy.

  • I'm going to move from that now because I think we may hear more about prior notice this afternoon, and I'm going to take an excursion away from the regulatory theme to pick up on paragraph 16 of your witness statement, which is in the section "Media and paparazzi harassment, Sienna Miller".

  • We've just heard from Sienna Miller, but you say that you've personally witnessed a number of car chases when photographers have jumped red lights or driven dangerously to pursue her, and that it is terrifying?

  • How common an occurrence is this sort of law breaking in order to get a story or a photograph?

  • My view, it was very common, especially for Sienna Miller, but I was meeting her at her home or at one time I was going to court with her and I saw the mob of photographers outside and at one stage I think she was just going to the GP for tablets or something, they ran -- they raced across -- I think it was -- vivid memory, they had a Porsche and they raced across a zebra crossing with that woman with a pram, or a pregnant woman, and it was really frightening. I think I notified the police and they couldn't get evidence of it.

    But it is truly frightening to see a sort of news mob in pursuit. It's certainly intimidating and frightening when they surround you at a restaurant, but the pursuits are dangerous and I have recommended clients video it or film what happens and I've seen some of these car pursuit videos and they are frightening, and the paparazzi who are not regulated, they frequently jump red lights and endanger themselves and others, and for Lily Allen, they crashed into her when they went through a red light a few years ago and we had to get an injunction to protect her as well.

  • Would it be fair to say that the lessons which it would have been thought might have been learned after an inquest which was conducted in this very court have not been learnt?

  • Can I move now to a second topic arising out of your section on harrassment and it's at the top of page 6 of your statement, where you explain that Sienna Miller became well-known for enforcing her rights legally, so the press largely moved on to another less risky target. That seems to me to raise a question for potential claimants: fight or ignore. Is that a real issue for victimses of harassment as to how to deal with it?

  • Yes. I mean I think I've said this many times, I'm not waiving privilege, but when Sienna couldn't take living in England any more, she said "I can't face it any more", I said, you've got two choices. Ignore, fight or move to Paris. Those were the only options. And in reality she had only one option, which was take action.

  • If we expand that a little, obviously there are some people who have the means to fight --

  • -- in these circumstances. How can those without means be protected? How can they fight, if that's what they elect to do?

  • It is difficult, because a lot of the time you're -- insofar as -- a lot of the time you're dealing with photographers, you don't know their names. You might have their number plates, have pictures of them, you don't know their names. Insofar as no win no fee arrangements are available to protect, and they theoretically would be, if you're suing unknown people, which is what Tinglan Hong's action is, against "unknown photographers", no lawyer will acting on a CFA against an unknown defendant because you're never ever going to get paid. So in reality, unless there's a proper regulator, there is no protection from paparazzi at all unless you're wealthy, which is wrong.

  • If there was a --

  • Hang on, you could also find a different way of doing it.

  • No, no, no, you misunderstand me. You could find a different way of obtaining a remedy that is short of the panoply of High Court proceedings.

  • Yes, undoubtedly, and one of the -- I mean, this is why I think an effective regulator, and this is the European Court decisions on this, Peck v UK, but an effective regulator should provide effective remedy, which means an injunction -- possibly compensation, that may be left to courts -- but an injunction to stop those people governed by that regulator would be effective, and it would be cost-effective. So that's a solution, but I think there'll be a lot of hostility by all those affected by allowing another body, not a court, to grant injunctions.

    It's quite complex. They may then end up with jurisdiction disputes about who should grant an injunction, should you have to go to a high court judge or should you go to the regulator. But if a regulator could stop this activity, effectively at no cost, it would work and the media would scream and howl about it, mainly because it would work.

  • I'm going to move on now to another topic. It's on the same page of your witness statement, paragraph 22.

  • Where you talk about exemplary damages and you explain that you've had a change of mind and you now think that exemplary damages in actions for invasion of privacy and breach of confidence are appropriate and necessary in exceptional circumstances. Of course, the answer to that question lies in the hands of the senior judiciary as a matter of law, unless there's legislation, but can I give you the opportunity to explain why you think that should be the case?

  • Because of this calculation. I mean, this calculation that they make. If in fact in extreme circumstances a newspaper is obtaining confidential information by unlawful means such as phone hacking, deciding cynically not to notify, therefore taking the opportunity to stop it away from the victim, and if they're making a calculation that, well, we're going to make £50,000 out of that headline anyway, then if they make that calculation and they intrude permanently into someone's privacy, which can't really be remedied, then they should pay for that. They make the cynical, unlawful calculation, they should pay.

    In fact, it's not just me, in fact the suggestion to this, or the -- it was reminded me by Jack Straw in his speech I've exhibited, but he suggested, when he was talking about the origin of the Human Rights Act, that if newspapers choose not to notify, and it's not in the public interest, then that should trigger an availability for exemplaries. It may well be that one can formulate a condition for exemplaries. If the means of acquisition is unlawful and they choose not to notify and there is no public interest, then exemplaries ought to be available and that may deter newspapers from taking these steps.

  • One of the other themes of your witness statement is the ways in which you believe that the media are getting around the laws that undoubtedly exist, and I'm now looking at page 8 of your witness statement, paragraph 28.

  • You say that the problem recently appears to be that having failed to lobby for immunity from the Human Rights Act, the media has sought to get around privacy laws by a number of other means ranging from simply denigrating privacy claimants and it's there I want to pause. You give some examples, but could you give us some idea of the scale of the problem, in your experience, of the press denigrating people who take them on?

  • Well, you have to look at the Daily Mail attack on Hugh Grant. It's pretty clear that they're attacking him because of his --

  • That might perhaps be a single incident, but my question is about the scale. Is it common or not?

  • Yes, I believe it is. I acted for Loreena McKennitt in her privacy action which went up to the Court of Appeal and was successful, and the House of Lords, and she was not only attacked frequently in columns of broadsheets and tabloids, but they misdescribed her, the nature of her action, critically misdescribed it.

    In fact, it's quite interesting, if you look at all the attacks on Loreena McKennitt, they had the same critical error running throughout. It's Paul Dacre's speech, articles in the Independent, they had the same -- it's like it was written by someone and regurgitated repeatedly. The same mistake was there in the trenchant criticism of my client's action.

    Max Mosley can speak for himself --

  • They suggested that Loreena McKennitt had complained about a biography, about all these matters which were true and accurate, and in fact one of the most important parts of this judgment in the Court of Appeal was that the court said and accepted and it was decided at trial that a number of these facts in the biography were untrue, and so this started, if you like, the doctrine of false privacy.

    You can claim -- it's just as intrusive to complain about an allegation that's private and true as private and false. So if someone is saying that an actor has cancer, in the old days if it's untrue you'd have real problems in trying to stop it. It wouldn't be defamatory, it's rather sad. But newspapers sometimes would, and in one case of mine they said, well, because it's not true, you can't injunct for invasion of privacy. Well, this case made it clear for the first time that you can injunct for false private information, which is critical, but that was glossed over by the newspapers in their criticism -- in their rush to criticise Loreena McKennitt, and it's a really important point.

  • If I could ask you then from your experience to put a subjective quantification on the scale of denigration. Would you describe it as common, frequent, standard practice? Or uncommon? Where on the scale does it lie?

  • It's invariable. I've acted for Naomi Campbell, Loreena McKennitt, Sienna Miller at the time she was complaining she was chastised for complaining, for whingeing about her privacy. Max Mosley was -- every possible claimant, whether it's a footballer, they have all been chastised for complaining, for going to law to get remedies, and it's a sort of tactic to undermine their vindication by trashing the claimant.

  • Is it a problem which is confined to a certain section of the media or not?

  • Less -- it's less so some broadsheets, but generally it's universal, this sort of sniping: how dare someone complain about their privacy? I've seen it in the Independent, in the Times, a little bit in the Guardian. It's more so in the Mail, the Mirror and the Sun, et cetera.

  • It's a question of degree?

  • Yes, there's a degree.

  • The second part of paragraph 28 of your witness statement develops another --

  • Sorry, I'm just thinking that last answer through. Of course, there has to be a balance, because ultimately they're entitled to take a different view.

  • Even from the courts, and frequently do.

  • So it has to reach a certain level, hasn't it?

  • Of course they can comment on the judicial process in the sense of, "Oh, well, I don't think that injunction should have been granted", but -- this is my opinion, my suspicion is: well, if they go to law, we'll give them a good trashing and it will deter other people from doing the same. That's my view about the strategy behind it because it happens, as I said, almost invariably. Let's make it difficult for them, let's deter others, let's trash them and maybe other people will think long and hard about doing it in future.

  • The second point that you develop in paragraph 28 of your witness statement, Mr Thomson, concerns the use of the social media and the Internet to break stories or to frustrate injunctions by disclosing identities. You described it in terms of the media using the social media and the Internet to achieve these ends.

  • What I'd like to ask you is do you have any firm evidence that injunctions have been frustrated at the instigation of the news media, or not?

  • I have firm evidence and inferences and anecdotal evidence from other lawyers, but if I go into the details of it, I break injunctions and people's privacy.

  • I'm not going to ask you to --

  • Can I give examples without going into details that identify the private information? On one client, a story was laundered. It went -- it was planted in America. The newspaper, having been granted -- having offered undertakings with a public domain proviso, exported the story to America and then reported it a week later, saying, "Aha, the US press have reported this, we can now report it". That's what I call story laundering. "We can't do it, but let's get the Americans to do it".

    Then there are other examples where an anonymisation order is granted, so the judge makes a decision to give the reasons for his judgment so there can be debate about why the injunction was granted, but he'll anonymise the person, so that the information is given as to the reasoning but not the person. So then the newspaper will have an article about the decision saying it's a scandal, and they will put a picture of the footballer next door, talking about something, and it will be nudge nudge, wink wink, this is the person who's doing it.

    Sometimes they might use social media. This is inference -- when we're talking about concrete evidence in these cases, it's always inference based on facts, so there are examples where Twitter has been used to identify the names of anonymised claimants and then other people have suddenly jumped up and said, "Look, it's on Twitter", and I think there has been in some cases evidence brought before the court that this is the sort of campaign of identification by jigsaw. So I have concrete examples, but I can't give you the details. I know of other examples from other lawyers, and they have put evidence before the court, but it's not --

  • Not direct evidence, it's inferential?

  • It's inferential evidence, yes.

  • Of course, all that's very difficult to prove. To give you the American example.

  • Well, yes, the American example, but in fact -- an American film producer rang me and told me that's what happened because he spoke to the American newspaper and they said -- I can't go into full detail -- it is really difficult.

  • I'm actually thinking ahead because throughout this exercise I'm not only taking what you're saying, but trying to think of ways that could be devised without impacting on freedom of speech or freedom of expression let alone --

  • No, this is the most difficult area. This is -- I mean, the Internet to some extent, parts of the Internet are the Wild West, and we all know that, and America, unlike any other country, has a very different legal situation, so it is quite common and easy to post -- get things on a website in America, or use Twitter or use Facebook, which all these social media websites, the servers are in America, so it is really difficult, but as, I think -- there have been some decisions, I think it's JAH or CTB, I can't remember which anonymised initials, where a number of judges have said, "Just because it's on Twitter doesn't mean I'm going to undo this injunction", but this is a difficult area, as we've seen in the sort of so-called superinjunction scandal a few months ago. It is very difficult and there's no easy solution.

  • That's an answer we're getting all too frequently.

    If I move on now to the next section of your witness statement, which deals with phone hacking.

  • Because you represent a number of claimants in the voicemail interception litigation, you have an opinion on what the evidence shows and you set out that at paragraph 32 of your witness statement, don't you?

  • It may be the easier thing to do is to ask the technician to bring up on the screen page 9 of your witness statement. I think the technician has the URN or would you like it?

  • I don't have copies of those documents.

  • You don't have copies. Perhaps it's best left that people can read your statement in this regard when it's posted onto the Internet.

    Can I pick up on one particular topic, and that is where you say at the bottom of page 10, you start talking about phone hacking activity not being confined to one newspaper and one newspaper group, but you say "common industry practice".

    I just want to explore the basis for this assertion. You first of all cite what Mr McMullen has said, and we'll be hearing from him in due course. You've heard my learned friend Mr Jay's opening when he referred to there being corner names in the Mulcaire document naming the Sun and the Mirror. Is that the basis for your assertion or does it go further than that?

  • Yes, it does. I have to be careful because some of the -- I don't want to trespass on the police area, so I'm going to talk slowly to make sure I don't trip up.

    In addition to the corner names and McMullen, of course Piers Morgan has spoken about this a lot. I have the GQ article here, can I read it out? It's in his words.

  • We're going to be hearing from Mr Morgan in due course. If you're talking about material which is in the public domain --

  • Then I think that's a matter which the Inquiry can take.

  • So you send me to a GQ article --

  • He interviewed Naomi Campbell and halfway through he said, "Have you got any questions?" and she asked him about phone hacking.

  • We'll ask him and he'll explain himself then.

  • Yes. So that's another bit that he's made generalised statements that it was widespread. The next point is Heather Mills has said -- she's my client -- has said to Newsnight and confirmed to me that a person other than Piers Morgan admitted to her at the Mirror Group that her phone had been accessed.

  • I wonder whether we shouldn't do this. If you have a list of --

  • I have quite a long list.

  • -- bits of evidence, I just wonder -- and I want to be as full and forthcoming about all this.

  • Equally I have to be rather careful to be fair.

  • No, I'm trying to be --

  • I understand why you're being cautious, but if you have areas where -- because of what you've been told by your clients or otherwise, then what I think I would prefer you to do is to provide that to the Inquiry.

  • And enquire whether your clients are themselves prepared to give some evidence.

    My problem is --

  • That specific point has already been aired on Newsnight, so it's public domain, but what I can do is I can give you the basis of my opinion in a document on that paragraph 36. I can give you further and better particulars of it.

  • I think that would be better.

  • And then whatever I can bring into the public domain, I would.

  • What I'm anxious to avoid is you saying what somebody said and then --

  • You understand the point?

  • We've found a solution and the good news continues because my next question is, finally: is there anything further you'd like to say to Lord Justice Leveson about future regulation of the media?

  • No. It's covered in my statement.

  • It's not only in your statement, but in a large number of articles that you've attached to your statement, public domain material.

  • In which you've explained your views not only in a book but also in evidence that you've given.

  • And I'm very grateful to you for taking the trouble to put it all together.

  • Sir, it would now be a convenient moment for a break.

  • (A short break)

  • Yes, Mr Jay.

  • The next witness it is Mr Max Mosley, please.