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

My Lord, I am certainly not, and I don't believe I ever have adopted a "the end justifies the means" approach. I would always obviously look at whether or not there was a public interest in a story which had been obtained either in breach of confidence or some other way. I mean the number of times over the years where I have actually been shown a copy of a government report which we'd got hold of the day before it's due to come out and it's been published in the public interest, then there's a huge complaint from the department of whatever it is because we got it early, et cetera. There are endless occasions when in a newspaper you will be confronted with a public interest decision. This was one of those cases where I believed it was in the public interest that DC Horton should be named, because he was misusing police information.

When Patrick Foster had done it, I thought properly, and I totally accept your views that you can't separate out the two, but I took the view that you could separate out the two, that was probably my mistake, but it was an innocent mistake, and I had made it absolutely -- I mean, if we go to the end of this bundle, you'll see the letter of discipline which goes to Patrick Foster, which I called for. I mean, I had said to -- you know, this is something we cannot -- you're trying to probe me as to whether I'm somehow condoning what Patrick had done. I wouldn't dream of doing that.

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