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

Well, I don't remember the conversation with Chris Mullin, but he's a pretty honest guy and what he writes that I said sounds very much to me as though I might have said it to him. Although he sat the other side of the political fence, he was something of a distant friend. I don't mean a friend in the sense that he stayed at my house, but he had a puritanical cast of mind which I rather admired, so I did talk to Mr Mullin. I think it's entirely likely that I said what he reports me saying. I'm sorry he reported it, it was a private conversation, but I think it is probably entirely accurate.

As to my view of Mr Murdoch, I was not an especial admirer of Mr Murdoch's activities as a proprietor. I did recognise his enormous skill as a businessman, that he'd built up Sky, that he'd rescued the Times and the Sunday Times when they'd possibly faced a very bleak future, that his Sky channel offered a very diverse -- a variety of very high quality programmes. I think their sports programmes and their wildlife programmes are very high quality, and so is a good deal of their political coverage. So I recognise that.

I wasn't an admirer of many of the things Mr Murdoch did but I think my criticism of Mr Murdoch should be set against my acknowledgment that in that respect, his saving those newspapers and setting up that alternative television channel was a very substantial contribution to our national life.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech