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

No, but to me it was pretty obvious, because the Murdoch press and particularly the Sun was going to back Gordon for leadership, and they would like to have as much clarity as possible, no doubt, before that. And there were one or two meddlesome priests to be dealt with, I suppose, in that direction.

So I said to her that's a bit of a non sequitur from what we were talking about, and she basically said, "Well, it all looks a bit chaotic and wouldn't you be better to withdraw", and so on, and I again said no, and then she said, "Well, you know, you're aware that we can't support you in that?" and I said, "I'm well aware of that and long have been aware of it", and she made some comment like, "Well, it would be better for everyone if the position was clearer."

Now, I didn't draw necessarily the inference that Chris Mullin drew from that, because it could have been a polite warning, it could have been just a conveyer of information: if you're running, we're not supporting it, whatever, but it is true that nevertheless four days later the Home Secretary has lost his brain campaign started in the Sun. And it ran for quite a period of time. I think they were still running bits of it up until May, even just after I had declared that I wouldn't be a candidate.

So I don't necessarily think it was a form of intimidation. I think Rebekah Wade knew me well enough to know that I wasn't the type to be intimidated. In fact, I knew -- sometimes suspected editors would get in touch with me for the sake of a good argument.

So if you put a benevolent interpretation on it, it would be that she was just making the position plain from the Murdoch press.

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