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

On one occasion, my office received a telephone call that purported to be from the Accident & Emergency department of a hospital, and the caller explained that my son's then girlfriend had been involved in an accident and that emergency surgery was necessary but before this could be carried out, it was necessary to know whether or not she was pregnant.

We made a pretty routine check pretty quickly and the girl concerned was working happily in her office at a meeting, and for the record, she was not pregnant. So that was an illustration of what was tried.

On another occasion, my son was followed -- then a very young man, was followed repeatedly by an individual on a motorbike with a long piece of equipment attached to his motorbike. This was at a time when concern about the IRA was a good deal higher than it is now and he, like the children of many senior politicians, had been given instructions on what to do.

Seeing that he was being followed repeatedly, he veered off his route, he stopped off to get petrol, he stopped to have a coffee, and every time it happened, he got back in his car and he was followed.

Eventually, when he realised this wasn't a casual accident after the first couple of times and it was happening regularly, he phoned the Cambridgeshire Armed Response Unit, who flagged over the motorbike and it turned out that the motorcycle rider was a photographer from the News of the World, the equipment that he thought was a rifle or gun was a long range telephoto lens, and the motorcyclist had been instructed to follow my son day and night until he got a story. That is a further illustration.

A more mundane one --

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