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

Yes. I was in no doubt that I would collaborate. I was slightly frustrated to hear that other colleagues were being less willing to do so. I understand the sensitivity of going public in this area. By this stage, I had gone into the public domain, not through my own willingness, on the subject, so it wasn't any problem to me to potentially be in court again on these subjects, and of course in the intervening period, there had been the Information Commissioner's report in May 2006, and then in December, just after the guilty plea in November, the follow-up report, and I was clear personally and politically that it was really important that this sort of behaviour -- both the hacking of phones, which the police had come to me about and had clearly been happening to other people, but also the general abuse of data, purchasing, selling, blagging, all those other things -- was unacceptable and I was determined to do everything I could, personally as well as politically, to try to deal with that, and I am frustrated even now that there wasn't comprehensive action taken then. That was the window of opportunity, it seemed to me, when a lot of pain and grief could have been spared had the police, on the evidence that there was, if it was strong enough and if it had stood up adequately, could have prosecuted those who clearly were in the frame, or sort of at least gone to the CPS and seen whether that was appropriate or encouraged the Information Commissioner to do the same or whatever. We lost three years, three or four years, in which illegal activity continued. I wasn't to know that, obviously, at the time.

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