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

Sir, it's a somewhat unsatisfactory position we've reached now at almost 5.30. There are a number of matters that I wanted to pursue with Mr Dacre, lines of inquiry which I have pre-notified Mr Jay, and which, as I understand it, have been notified to the other core participants. They relate to three matters, which have previously been the subject of evidence by Ms Hartley, whose supplemental statement, you'll recall, was received too late for them to be dealt with when she gave her evidence.

They're the evidence surrounding the birth of Mr Grant's daughter, the plummy-voiced film executive story and the "mendacious smears" attack on Mr Grant, as part of the wider attack, we say, on witnesses who have given evidence to this Inquiry.

It's fair to say that unfortunately this has become rather personal as against Mr Grant, when we say this is really about the wider culture, ethics and practices of the press. I know, sir, you understand that point, and I hope the other core participants do as well.

I say we've reached an unsatisfactory position because it's actually worse than that. There are a number of matters that I need to deal with as a result of Mr Dacre having gone to some lengths, understandably, to introduce into his evidence his latest witness statement, which, sir, you indicated you would want to hear submissions about before these matters were dealt with today.

That latest supplemental statement, of course, was received by Mr Jay personally, I think, at 9.30 pm on Friday. Mr Grant's witness statement, which has not been read into the record, was actually sent to the Inquiry's solicitors at 4.30 pm on Friday, within, I would submit, reasonable time for it to be dealt with.

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