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

This came at the zenith of the sort of press storm around that arrest in Los Angeles. I was now back in London, holed up in my flat, and I'd managed to get out for the day, or the night -- I can't remember. Anyway, when I came back, this flat had been broken into. The front door had been basically just shoved off its hinges. As I say, nothing was stolen, which was weird, and the police nevertheless came around the next day to talk about it, and the day after that a detailed account of what the interior of my flat looked like appeared in one of the British tabloid papers. I can't remember which one at the moment, but it was definitely there, and I remember thinking: who told them that? Was that the burglar or was that the police? And when I told this story to Tom Watson recently, the MP who was writing a book about this kind of thing, he nodded knowingly, saying, "Oh yes, that particular method of break-in I've come across with several other people who are victims of a lot of -- in the crosshairs of a lot of the press attention, and it doesn't seem to have been a singular occasion."

And you know, it seemed doubly sinister to me because that flat, as you said, is -- you have to walk up a hell of a lot of stairs to get there. I think it was a very bad choice for a normal burglar, and nothing was stolen, and I've had it for 25 years and it's never been broken into before or since.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech