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

  • Good morning. Yes, Mr Garnham?

  • Sir, good morning. On Thursday of last week you will perhaps recollect that Peter Clarke gave evidence to the effect that in the margins, is how I think he put it, of a counter-terrorism meeting, he mentioned to the then Home Secretary, Dr Reid, some of the details of Operation Caryatid and Mr Clarke went on to say that a briefing paper was then sent to the Home Office. You asked me, sir, to find that paper. We've done so, and a copy has been forwarded to Mr Jay. It's a paper dated 9 August 2006.

    We also understand that a paper was prepared by a senior civil servant for the then Home Secretary personally. We haven't yet got hold of that, but we will and we'll make it available to the Inquiry when we do.

  • Let me understand this, because it's quite important and people should not assume that I do not read the press, because I am.

    This is about the extent to which the police kept the government informed --

  • -- about Caryatid. I understand that we've seen -- and over the weekend, I have seen -- a paper prepared by the police for the Home Office.

  • I've also seen that Lord Reid has made it clear that he does not have a recollection of seeing a document.

  • Yes, I understand that too, sir.

  • But it's obviously very important, not least because of the interplay between this part of the Inquiry and the next part of the Inquiry, if not the first part, because if politicians were the subject of potential interception, then they come in as public as well. So it all holds the thing together a little bit.

    I would very much welcome the opportunity to see every piece of paper that passed around the place on this topic.

  • Yes, sir. We've sent you the briefing paper that was prepared by the Met and you have that.

  • In fact, I think it's on Lextranet. I don't have the reference immediately to hand but I think it's been there for some time.

    We understand also that a civil servant by the name of Richard Reilly, who was then private secretary to the permanent secretary in the Home Office, prepared for the Home Secretary an internal paper, which was also dated 9 August 2006. That we do not yet have, but we are making enquiries so that we can ensure that it's passed to Mr Jay.

  • I'd be very grateful for the opportunity to see it, if only to identify the extent to which there's a mismatch between recollection.

  • Thank you very much, Mr Garnham.

  • Sir, there's a matter that's arisen as a result of evidence that was given last week by Mr Surtees, relating to Tessa Jowell, who is a core participant victim. We've written a letter on her behalf to the Inquiry team, but we'd be grateful for the opportunity to clarify her position this morning because there's been incorrect media speculation as a result.

    You may recall Mr Surtees gave evidence that he contacted several potential victims to inform them their phones had been intercepted. He referred to the fact that Tessa Jowell was one of them and said that all the potential victims declined to assist with the prosecution.

  • Well, he said that she had, and I've also read in the newspapers that she does not recollect that at all and says in terms that had she been asked to make a statement, she most certainly would have done.

  • Exactly. Sir, that's the point I wish to make, simply the fact that it was reported in the Guardian on Friday -- she's contacted the Guardian and clarified the position and I'm grateful for that clarification as well.

  • With great respect to her, putting it in the Guardian, although doubtless of extreme value, doesn't clarify the position; it merely raises the question. It obviously means that I'm going to ask Mr Garnham, in the light of the fact that you raise it, to check through with the officers who gave evidence and the system that is available in the Metropolitan Police to find out whether there is any documentation that surrounds the visit that a senior police officer will have had with that particular minister to deal with this topic. Let's see if we can bottom that as well, not because the answer will necessarily take the Inquiry to some conclusion as opposed to another, but because I do think that the value of the Inquiry is that issues such as this can be ventilated, provided they don't take too long. I've spent a long time on all sorts of issues which are just slightly off the main beam but may be relevant to the overall picture that is being presented, but I have to keep things in balance.

  • Sir, that Inquiry is in chain.

  • Thank you. Right. Thank you very much indeed.

  • Sir, the first witness today is Sir Paul Stephenson, please.