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

The first thing would be I don't think I could have persuaded the newspaper industry to have accepted a finding. I certainly don't think it would have been proper for editors to have been on the Press Complaints Commission if they were in a position to fine their competitors for breaching the code, so that was difficult. It was very important in the initial stages of getting the Press Complaints Commission going that the editors played a full part.

So we had to balance all these things and I'm not saying it's exactly the same today, but it was important to get the editors committed it was their code. They were the ones who were needed to absolutely fully support what we were doing, and I needed to take them along, and they would not have been -- and I don't think I would have been in favour of the editor of one newspaper fining another one, and there was a further question of one fine would have been enough to put the paper out of business. The same fine would have been an extremely cheap price to have got the story, which in French newspaper style they could have put across the top of their banner.

So I was against fines at that time, and I think Chris Smith -- I think Virginia Bottomley was also quite keen on it at one time, but I persuaded them as best I could that I thought this was an unwise move at the time I was dealing with it.

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