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

By massive restraint. No, I made a determination ever since I began to be an editor at the Northern Echo that too close a relationship could be compromising, and in fact Alastair Hetherington at the Guardian, an editor I greatly admired, I was kind of shocked when I read his life story of how he'd co-operated with Harold Wilson to change the paper's policy so as to bring pressure to bear on President Johnson over whether Britain should be involved in the Vietnam war, and I thought that kind of relationship -- I've read a great deal on the history of the press and the Northcliffe era, the Cudlipp era, and what struck me about all of them was it's a Faustian bargain when you get too intimate with politicians. I think it serves neither the politicians nor the press well for the relationship to get to be one of complicit -- complicity, really, and that on no account would I ever allow myself to do that.

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