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

Thank you, sir.

First, and I would give primacy to this, is to uphold the law. I think it's -- my view is it's extraordinary of the various aspects of this that I've spoken about that an assumed illegality can have been taking place on a huge scale and nothing substantial done about it.

I made the point earlier about the lack of information that had been given to the Scottish authorities, which I feel very angry about. I can give you the assurance that's been given to me by the Lord Advocate that the criminal law will be upheld in Scotland without fear and favour, and I'm sure, given the circumstances in which this Inquiry has come into being, that will now be the case everywhere, but it has to be the case because, unless that's the case, nothing else that's suggested -- I go back to the point -- a voluntary or even a statutory code is not going to be enforced or enforceable if the criminal law is not being enforced and enforceable so I think it's absolutely invites that that's first in my hierarchy.

Secondly -- and maybe this is maybe why you think I'm a minimalist in this matter -- I think the freedom of the press is important not just as a matter of practice but as a matter of principle. And while I salute and applaud those newspapers like, for example, the ones I mentioned in DC Thomson and there are others, who make an absolute virtue of saying, look, comments are in our editorial or in our columnists, fact is in our news columns. That's great, but it may be desirable but not only is the impossible to implement, in my opinion, this division between fact and comment, I actually do think there is a freedom for people within the law, the laws of not inciting hatred, to conduct themselves in a biased manner.

It was Lord Northcliffe, wasn't it, who the phrase the "daily hate" was attributed to, but whether it's hate or bias, whatever you want to call it, I think that's a price we have to pay for the essential freedom of the press and you cannot have a free press which does what you want it to do, which always behaves itself. It has to behave itself within the law and within certain norms, which I'm going to come onto in a few seconds.

Thirdly, in terms of redress from -- well, the redress for illegal behaviour is clear enough, that should be a matter for criminal law to enforce that, but from other behaviour which might not be illegal but be wrong, then certainly on that, the redress must be open to all. There has to be the ability of individuals or groups, in my opinion, to seek redress in an effective manner they can have confidence in. Rich people and powerful people will always have the civil courts and actions that they can pursue, but to be proper, the redress must be open to all.

Fourthly, politicians. I think the move towards transparency is a good thing for both government and opposition politicians. I think the abidance by the Ministerial Code is -- the Ministerial Codes are there for a reason and the reason I cited you to Scottish Ministerial Code is because we pay it close attention and so politicians and relationships should be guided by transparency in terms of what is now being done by everyone --

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