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

  • Sir, may I raise some --

  • -- timetabling points. The next witness will be Mr Owens. He has a train he needs to catch at a certain time. I hope we'll be able to fit his evidence in. I estimate it will take about 90 minutes. There are continuing issues in relation to Mr Lewis's further evidence. It may or may not be possible to call him this afternoon. I suspect it won't be, but we'll keep his under consideration.

    There is a bigger problem in relation to Mr Thomas, who is unwell, and we are going to make enquiries over lunch as to how to deal with his evidence, but it may not be possible to hear from him tomorrow or the following day, but I'm going to ask to see what can be done next week.

    His evidence will have to be taken before Christmas, there is no question of seeking to accommodate him in the new year. There will not be time. This is the appropriate time to consider it.

  • There's no question. Some of the material can be extracted through others who were involved in "What price privacy", can't it? Because he still has to give evidence.

  • He is the star witness, and my current view is that the core material should be extracted through him. The other two witnesses I'm not saying are peripheral, but they are less central to the narrative.

    If necessary, we may have to sit on Friday next week, but I'd really like to deal with Mr Thomas next week because we're going to run out of time the week beginning 12 December and certainly the week beginning 19 December.

  • I give that warning now.

  • You can do some work on that and everybody can consult their diaries. We're going to have to be flexible on these things.

  • We will update you informally just before we start at 2 o'clock.

  • Mr Caplan, I'm sorry to ruin your short adjournment, but I had believed that the sentence about which I particularly expressed concern had been removed. If it hadn't been removed, then I do think it's an urgent matter.

  • Yes. I hope to have a conversation over the luncheon adjournment.

  • Thank you. That's why I said I was disturbing your adjournment. Thank you very much. 2 o'clock.

  • (The luncheon adjournment)

  • Sir, we are in a position to hear from Mr Lewis this afternoon, but after Mr Owens. Mr Thomas we're now hearing on Friday of next week, that's 9 December, the whole day.

  • Yes. Does that cause any insuperable concern to anybody who would otherwise be here? I'm not saying that will provide a trump, but I'm asking the question. (Pause)

    Thank you. Oh, yes?