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

You were asked to comment on a reported conversation between you and Rebekah Wade as she then was which appears in volume 2 of Chris Mullin's diary, 30 April 2009. He says this:

"Lunch in the cafeteria where I was regaled by John Reid with an account of how as his star rose in the run-up to the man's retirement unpleasant stories about him began to appear in the Daily Mail and the Sun. Then came a call from Rebekah Wade, the then Sun editor, ostensibly about other matters, who started quizzing him about the coming leadership election at one point blurting out 'Why don't you withdraw then?' At this stage John hadn't declared any intention to run against Gordon and in the event he didn't. The implication was clear: the smears would stop if he let Gordon have a free run."

You're basically asked to confirm whether that's factually accurate. Can you please tell us in your own words about that conversation?

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