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

I think, as Peter Clarke certainly has said to this Inquiry, one of the difficulties we faced on the counter-terrorism matters was that this fell upon, if I might put it this way, a slightly unprepared criminal justice system for trials of this magnitude and there were also -- many of them were connected to one another, so there was a long period in which arrests had been made, the communities were deeply disturbed, and even though trials had finished and people had been sentenced, nobody could speak about it in public.

And we needed, in my opinion and that of many others, to do something which I know this Inquiry has some concerns about, but there are times in which the only way you can do this is an off-the-record conversation, because otherwise there is no way of giving that information to a journalist, because if you are to be quoted, you would be interrupting the process of a fair trial.

So I mean there is a place for it, but it is one that needs to be tightly controlled.

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