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

We employ our legal director, Liz Hartley, who you'll be talking to this afternoon, and a number of senior in-house lawyers whose advice I would nearly always follow.

We also, on a Friday and a Saturday, we have two duty lawyers who read every story in the paper. They take slightly different attitudes, because they're different people coming in. Sometimes they are overcautious, and in particularly on celebrity stories, you have to take a view to -- we're talking about libel here -- there are certain individuals who are very likely to sue and other individuals who, for whatever reason, are very unlikely to sue, and because I've been doing this job for a very long time, I may have a better knowledge of that than the duty lawyer.

The duty lawyer will point out to me, "Look, this could be -- there could be a risk here", and it's their job to point out the risk. It's my job to take the decision.

Equally, I sometimes, not infrequently, go to duty lawyers and say, "Have you read this story?" "Yes," they say, "it's fine". And I say, "I'm very worried about this bit, can I go through it again?" So sometimes I take a more cautious view than duty lawyers.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech