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

Yes. That is my recollection. The background to it is that we, the Liberal Democrats, my colleague, for instance, Chris Huhne, had been very outspoken in our criticisms of Andy Coulson when he was appointed to work for the Conservative Party in opposition. It's self-evidently an issue. This was an individual who we had been highly critical of and had been critical of his appointment before the election, so, you know, it would have been very odd for us not to seek to straighten out our views now that we were suddenly and unexpectedly thrown together in government, as with so many issues.

I genuinely cannot remember the precise wording, but, you know, I said to the Prime Minister, I asked him, "Is this the right thing to do, given the controversy around Andy Coulson?" given obviously the Prime Minister was aware of my party's views on it.

The Prime Minister explained the reasons that he's given publicly why he felt that he'd been satisfied with the responses that he'd received from Andy Coulson and he felt, as he's put it, that he deserves a second chance.

Of course, a lot of the information and allegations we now know were not known to me or indeed the Prime Minister then. It's quite important to remember that this conversation would have been quite different -- we know now or think we know now that we didn't know then.

And also it is important to remember that in a coalition, the Prime Minister has a right to make choices about who he appoints to his team which I can't and wouldn't ever seek to veto, in the same way that I am free to make appointments to my team which he can't veto.

It was not a conversation which was based on the premise that somehow, you know, I would say, "You can't do that", it's just that wasn't the understanding of it.

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