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

Your Honour made the point, rather than rushing out that press statement -- and I want to explain in a minute, I felt we had to be as robust as possible and fight fire with fire because it was such a damaging accusation -- your Honour said, "Well look, why didn't you go back, you know, listen to -- read the evidence and come out with a more reasoned response?" I think you just repeated that.

With the greatest possible respect, I don't think you understand the speed of and the ability to set the agenda and create a firestorm of 24-hourly bulletin instant news. If we had allowed that to get traction, it would have taken off. The implications for that story would have gone down that the Daily Mail had been accused of fucking -- of hacking phones. As it was, we put that statement out, by the 6 o'clock television news, the news which actually sets the agenda, a much more balanced version was being presented using our very strong rebuttal, high in the news, and it was no longer leading the news, and we were happy with that balance.

That's why I felt we had to act in the robust way we did.

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