The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.
Delighted to be here.
Certainly. I made a decision ahead of pressing the button on publication on Saturday and I made that decision with the facts and calculations I made at that time. I think with hindsight, and of course hindsight is a wonderful thing, there certainly would have been scope for me to ...
I agree with that.
No, I don't think so. I think if we had been that excited about it, we might have put it on the front page. I mean, it's a very good story and it puts in the public mind the key question in the week that Mr Coulson is ...
Yes, I fully understand that. Of course I do.
Yes, of course.
But I don't know how you're going to deal with the shareholding issue.
I don't know what was going to come out in the Inquiry and I don't know how you conduct the Inquiry. I can only speak for the people I edit and we have followed this story, probably behind the Guardian only, for five years and it's quite ...
Can I just set a little bit of context here? The key question that we have followed from Andy Coulson going to the Conservative Party office as director of communications, whatever his title was then, is who knew what when? So who knew what when about Andy Coulson's involvement ...
Which is why we never used any of the witness statement.
Yes, I think that's true.
We have used nothing from his statement in our story. Nothing.
Can I ask you a question? If I had those three sources, all confirmed, and had the story confirmed on the Wednesday evening, and never received the document, would you say we still could not publish that story?
Hang on, hang on, we stood the story up without the statement.
Well, from my point of view, I'm an editor of a newspaper. We may not be the world's greatest newspaper, in fact we may not be the greatest newspaper in our own building, but we're good honest journalists and we try and do our job as best ...
I understand that.
But I think that that probably is a breach of the order, if that helps.
Well, to quote the gentleman here, that's a hypothetical situation, isn't it?
I really, really don't accept that. Nothing that appeared in our story didn't come from the three sources that I've outlined --
No, I really don't --
Because my view of the story was we had three sources of the story, none of them relied on Mr Coulson's statement and I believed that meant the order didn't apply to our story.
They did not.
We didn't use the statement as a source.
I accept that, sir.
What I'm saying to you is we had the story copper-bottomed on the Wednesday evening.
No, I'm not denying that, but we had three sources to confirm the story.
I did not view that as a fourth source of the information.
Well, I wouldn't put it like that. How I would put it is that we are a Sunday newspaper, publishing on Sundays. Had we been a daily newspaper, we would have been perfectly able to have gone ahead and run exactly the same story that we published in the ...
I think it's human nature that if you're presented with something and you're a journalist that you would read it. I think in retrospect it would have been much better all round had I not read that statement.
No, I did not.
No form of subterfuge on our part, but beyond that I can't comment any further.
I'm not prepared to go any further than what I've said in this statement there.
I don't dispute that.
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