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

Well, Murdoch operated with all governments, but if I can just make this first point: I'm not the best to ask about the relations with the press, because mine's never been good, but I'll give you my opinion.

In regard to Murdoch press, I always thought it was wrong that politicians at the highest level were just too close to Murdoch, because Murdoch asks the price. It might be about Sky, it might be about, "Will you reduce legal aid?" which he's just convinced this government to do, about the costs of legal aid for the press. I think that's wrong, so there's always a price.

And I did used to say it in my case, in the circus I had, to say it was wrong. Politicians always argued -- and indeed if you look at Coulson and Cameron, that there's always a price. It's not exactly corruption and I'm not confusing them of that, but they do have interests, they do have power, they do have -- and in the Murdoch press it's particularly organised to achieve that, so they have good relations. It's all the social dos. I never ever went to one. I thought you paid too much of a price for it. But all the leaders of parties -- and it's the present one as well, Mr Cameron and others -- they believe you have to have access to all the editors that he controls, as if somehow those editors would act independently. I don't think the evidence is that.

But then it was like the paper might say, "We won it." I don't know the exact term; you know, the Sun used to claim which government they put in. I thought it gave a kind of corrupting influence, not in the payment sense, but in the political sense, that they had too much influence and power and I think it corrupted the relationship between the press and indeed the leaders.

But I might say, when it was asked in earlier evidence being given, what about the relation at the top, it didn't take much to encourage the journalists below to work within that framework, because they buy papers. I mean just look at the Telegraph, bought by those brothers and they changed it from the Telegraph into the Daily Mail 2. They do politically act and politicians look at this and say, "We're not going to get a fair crack from them", and I can give you a dozen instances in the last six months which has happened, that's particularly with me. They give you apologies or they might put something on page 2, but it sours the relationship when they're not fair in any way, and then you're invited either to sue them -- sue them? For God's sake, unless you've got a lot of money, be very careful, you go down that road, because they will carry that story, might put it on page 2 if it's an apology, and then you go to the PCC and you think that might -- the Press Complaints Commission, go to them and you think, well, perhaps they will deal with it. Well, as you know, as evidence has been given, they were lying to her anyway, Baroness Buscombe, and quite frankly the whole damn thing is useless and I hope you'll give some indications of change with the framework as you have said and which I agree with, Mr Leveson.

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