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

And I will revisit tomorrow how we address this particular set of issues. I'm not prepared to carry on. There is a limit to the time that I think is appropriate, given all the things that I have said about the focus of this Inquiry, to descend into some of the detail, but equally I understand that the issue, as I said to Mr Caplan, has become rather totemic and therefore requires further thought.

What I think we ought to do is stop now, revisit how we are going to address it, the extent to which it requires Mr Dacre or Ms Hartley, and think about it again. I'm not saying that I'm going to -- how I'm going to resolve it but I do think it's only fair to everybody that it's resolved rather more carefully than is likely to be possible at 10 to 6 on Monday evening.

Right. Mr Dacre, I understand the position you adopt. I am not prepared to allow you to be required to answer questions which you haven't had the opportunity to think about. I'm equally not prepared to shut out some of these lines in the light of the evidence and the allegations that have been made. Equally, I'm not prepared to take a great deal of time over what may not constitute central features of the over-arching aspect of the Inquiry.

So I will review how best to deal with it at some later time. It may or may not require you to return shortly, but if you do have to return, it will be shortly. I'm sorry about that, but I think that this is simply not a sensible way of proceeding. I take entirely the point that you've made; I equally understand what Mr Sherborne has said. This just, however, isn't sensible.

In the meantime, I am very keen that those who are contemplating what the future should look like should take on board what you've said, which may or may not provide an additional avenue of legitimate Inquiry, but they should certainly look at it, and I'm grateful to you for continuing to think about these issues.

You should not believe, as I think two or three times you've said, that the Inquiry is taking a rather blinkered and only negative view of the press --

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech