24/06/2014 Newsnight


A special edition of Newsnight on the phone hacking trial.

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the Prime Minister's former Lieutenants in jail. I was given


assurances that he didn't know about phone hacking, that turns out not to


be the case and I was always clear if that happened I would apologise


and I do so unreservedly today. He may be happier that his close


friend, Rebekah Brooks, is cleared. She said she didn't know what was


going on. So how did she get to the top of News International? Rupert


did say to me, and this would be an exact quote, he said "she social


climbed her way up my family". On tonight's Newsnight we will hear


from victim, politician and the journalist who first broke the


story. Good evening, guess who said "a


newspaper can create great controversy, light on injustices,


just as it can hide things and be a great power for evil"? It was Ruperp


Murdoch, the head of the -- Rupert Murdoch. The conviction of two men


for the little known crime of listening to a voicemail, he claimed


was down to one rogue reporter. A seven month criminal trial later and


many arrests, tonight it is the Prime Minister who is saying sorry.


The man he trusted enough to take into Number Ten was the former News


of the World editor, Andy Coulson, who was today found guilty of


conspiracy to hack phones by an Old Bailey jury. But his then boss,


Rebekah Brooks, was cleared. We have been following this case all the way


through for us. An extraordinary day, what are we to make of it? It


is a hugely dramatic day, of course, it is a ?30 million police inquiry


lasting years. It has had nearly an eight-month trial costing tens of


billions more. Huge reputations at stake, it is the sharp end of one of


the biggest media scandals Britain has ever seen. Only one, thus far,


only one guilty finding, Andy Coulson. Quite sensationally in some


respects because there was huge expectation around this, Rebekah


Brooks and most of the others found not guilty on the counts they faced.


There will be questions for the prosecuting authorities. But


nevertheless, we have also been given a glimpse, you mentioned it in


the introduction, of the sheer scale of what has gone on here. Royal


phone hacks, 200+, David Blunkett personally, 300+, this was an


industrial scale operation. As much as we now know how big the scale


was, there is potentially more to come, where to next? In terms of the


company, well there are more trials to come, they start in the autumn


and run into 2015. Les Hinton has been interviewed under caution, the


Guardian are reporting that the police want to talk to are you you


Rupert Murdock personally, the questions go back to David Cameron,


how he hired Andy Coulson and how he took him into Number Ten, against


advice at every stage who said he had to be really, really careful


about this. It was an awkward promise for David Cameron to keep,


but keep it he did. Apologising this afternoon for firing Andy Coulson in


the first place. In his words, "giving him a second chance". He's


not the first politician who called on the arch skills of Fleet Street


editors to help them get elected, but neither he nor Coulson can ever


have thought in their worst nightmare that it would turn out


like this. ??FORCEDWHI


From court into a media frenzy, and then what? Prison? We await the


judge's sentence. But the verdict, guilty, of conspiring to hack


phones. In one e-mail Andy Coulson instructed one of his News of the


World reporters "do his own". But it was Coulson who was done for. As


David Cameron finished his speech launching the Conservative's


manifesto in 2010, his Director of Communications was in the


background, always in the background, steering journalists and


perhaps enjoying the thought that he and his boss were on their way to


bigger and better jobs. But now, it is the man who appointed him who is


having to answer difficult questions. I take full


responsibility for employing Andy Coulson. I did so on the basis of


undertakings I was given by him about phone hacking and those turn


out not to be the case. I always said that if they turned out to be


wrong I would make a full and frank apology, and I do that today. I'm


extremely sorry that I employed him, it was the wrong decision, and I'm


very clear about that. How much damage do you think you did the


Prime Minister Mr Coulson? The Labour leader is equally clear this


is not the end of the questions for the Prime Minister. We now know that


he brought a criminal into the heart of Downing Street. David Cameron was


warned about Andy Coulson, the evidence mounted up against Andy


Coulson. David Cameron must have had his suspicions about Andy Coulson,


and yet he refused to act. Now I believe this isn't just a serious


error of judgment, this taints David Cameron's Government. We now know


that he put his relationship with Rupert Murdock ahead of doing the


right thing when it came to doing the right thing with Andy Coulson.


And David Cameron received multiple warnings from Nick Clegg and Paddy


Ashdown, by the at the ender of the Guardian and the then enity Prime


Minister, John Prescott. Also by senior Conservative backbenchers,


all telling the Prime Minister do not have anything to do with this


man. He would have seen with people advising him against Coulson the


voice of snobbery, and he wanted to have that connection. He basically,


it is not that he wanted the Sun's vote, but he wanted the vote of Sun


readers and even people who didn't read it, he thought would bring


them. Even friends of David Cameron are puzzled how determined he was to


bring a man with such a checkered past with him beyond the gates into


the heart of his administration. When he got there, why wasn't Andy


Coulson subjected to the same level of official vetting as previous and


subsequent directors of communication. Was it, as some


believe, that they didn't want to know the truth? I swear by Almighty


God that the evidence I shall give... The Prime Minister was asked


about the failure to vet Coulson to the highest level during the


evidence he gave to the Leveson Inquiry. The issue of who was vetted


to what level is for the Civil Service not the Prime Minister. The


decision was taken by the Permanent Secretary at Number Ten, Jeremy


Heywood, not by me. Having looked at all of this I'm convinced this is a


complete red herring. The decision was made properly by the Civil


Service, it wasn't abnormal. Mr Cameron will no doubt face more


scrutiny about his decision to hire and keep Andy Coulson tomorrow at


Prime Minister's Questions. With us now are Harriet Harmen, deputy


leader of the Labour Party, and John Wittingdale. David Cameron said he


would apologise if this is what happened, he has done that, he has


been very clear about that, he didn't stint in his apology,


shouldn't this be the end of the story for him? No, I don't think so.


I don't think that makes it OK at all. I mean in the first place why


did he place so little concern on what had happened to those victims,


the Dowlers, the McCanns, who had been victims of crime and then had


their lives turned more upside down and their privacy invaded and their


pain and suffering made worse by abuse of the press. That already was


known about and that was accepted. And he swept that aside because he


wanted to have Andy Coulson by his side in Number Ten and the second


thing I think that is really not OK to accept is the idea that David


Cameron was some how niave, trusting, he wanted to give him a


second chance like some kind of probation officer. That does not


wash. He was not somebody who admit what had he had done and was turning


over a new leaf, he was somebody who had not accepted what he had done.


And the reason why Cameron gave him this second chance and ignored the


concerns of the victims is because he wanted to have Andy Coulson by


his side and a good link in to Murdoch, that is how it looks to me.


In the same way many Labour politicians have too, we will come


to that in a minute? We are talking about somebody who is a criminal. It


is easy to criticise David Cameron with hindsight, when the fullness of


the revelations came out, he ordered the Leveson Inquiry, and he now has


backed the royal charter, the cross-party attempt to clean up the


press. What do you actually want him to do now? Well, it wasn't that this


only came out afterwards. He was warned before he took Andy Coulson


into Downing Street and even after he was in Downing Street and


evidence and the allegations mounted, like the whole front page


of the New York Times. He turned his face against it. What do you want


him to do now, order an inquiry into the vetting of Andy Coulson? It is


strange that there wasn't proper vetting of him. What he should


acknowledge is actually he did it to curry favour with the Murdoch press,


he said I did it, I was too trusting and I will apologise. What he wasn't


admit is he was prepared to have the office of Prime Minister and Downing


Street sullied because he wanted to curry favour with the Murdoch press.


What came out in the Leveson Inquiry was the extraordinary close knit


relationship of new Labour with the Murdoches, we heard Gordon Brown's


wife a pyjama party with Rupert Murdoch's wife. You can't have it


both ways? There is two separate things, was this a different order


of things? I think it was, this was criminal activity. This wasn't just


cosying up at parties, this was inviting into the heart of Downing


Street somebody who had been engaged in criminal activity which had


caused people to suffer. Secondly, it is the case and this has been


acknowledged and we have been quite clear on this, is there is a problem


if there is a monopoly ownership of the press and the press becomes too


powerful and more powerful than those who are elected. David Cameron


did not know of cour because that conviction only happened today, he


didn't know about that at the time. What he did know is that actually


whilst Andy Coulson had been editor, criminal activity was going on. This


trial has not even concluded. They were already convicted while he was


editor. If your issue with this is how it exposed the closeness of the


links, and the links between News International and the Conservatives


were so inappropriate, why is your current leader allowing himself to


be photographed holding up a copy of the Sun if the links are so


terrible? What we are talking about is one newspaper owner having too


much power. Nobody is boycotting the Sun. I disapprove of page 3, but the


Sun readers are people we need to be communicating with, that is


completely different than actually hiring someone who is presiding over


criminal activity. Harriet Harmen is right, it was a terrible error of


judgment for David Cameron to hire Andy Coulson? David Cameron has said


it was a bad decision, but at the time you have to remember all we


knew was one reporter had been convicted of phone hacking of the


aides to the Royal Family. We didn't know anything about the Dowler, we


didn't know about the huge numbers of victims which were subsequently


revealed by the Mulcaire papers. We knew that a reporter had been


convicted and Andy Coulson not only told David Cameron, he then came


before my Select Committee after that and said categorically he had


no knowledge and involvement in phone hacking. By the time he went


into Number Ten and Downing Street that is something of a different


order. But there were people including you... He was still saying


he had no knowledge and involvement. There were people in the party


warning David Cameron, were you one of them who warned him to go careful


carefully? The only thing I said is here is somebody who decided to


resign from the newspaper because somebody in his employment had been


convicted of a criminal offence. I think that was the correct decision,


my committee concluded even though we couldn't demonstrate any evidence


to prove he had known, nevertheless he was right to resign. The judgment


about whether or not to take him on was one which David Cameron made and


he said in his own words that he thought he deserved a second chance.


I didn't directly speak to him, I personally felt I wasn't sure


whether the message was the right one. But I fully understand that


whether the message was the right felt he would give him a second


whether the message was the right difficult to condemn someone.


whether the message was the right signals to get that message back,


whether the message was the right and there were people


whether the message was the right Conservative Party warning him? I


had been told by Andy Coulson, in a full, formal hearing of the Select


Committee that he had no knowledge or involvement. Therefore of course


we assumed that he must be telling the truth. This whole thing about


second chances, either this is the earliest point either Andy Coulson


did not know what was going on in his newspaper at the very best he


had no idea, so why give him a second chance and make him Director


of Communications in Number Ten. It doesn't wash. We must be careful


here because the proceedings are not complete. Before we close, Harriet


Harman, all the parties have said at the time of Leveson that this was a


moment, once and for all to sort out press standards. Do you believe what


the press has come up with meets the requirements of Lord Leveson? One of


the things about the framework that was agreement by all parties in the


House of Commons and House of Lords is we shouldn't be judging


House of Commons and House of Lords regulator, we should have an


independent recognising panel set up and they will judge whether the


regular Tatar the press come -- regulator the press come forward is


part of the Leveson principles. The regulator has not yet been appointed


and they will look at any regulator put forward for recognition and say


is it independent, does it give people a fair deal. After all of


this, still a work in progress? Yes and we cannot have business as


usual. Thank you very much for coming in tonight. The outcome


couldn't be more different for Coulson's former boss, colleague and


lover, Rebekah Brooks. When she heard the jury had cleared her and


her husband Charley Brooks she was overwhelmed and had to be helped


from the court by the matron at the Old Bailey. She's free, but she can


hardly return to the life she lived before as the former chief executive


of News International, she was one of the most powerful people in the


land. Rebekah Brooks is a dream client. So she spent 13 days in the


witness box and she was brilliant. Rupert did say she social climbed


her way up my family. She company these people much closer, she had


them all on speed dial. Can Confident, wealthy, a powerful and


influential networker at the highest level. Rebekah Brooks could be charm


itself. A hugely impressive character, in control apparently of


all she surveyed, and what a career, from office runner to chief


executive in just 20 years. The first thing you notice about her is


that fantastic shock of red hair. You know, it is almost as big as she


is. She was desperate to learn. It was an admirable quality that she


had. She was desperate to know what was going on and how it was


achieved, how the package was brought up and ended up in the


paper. In no time at all she was Charli, he's boss as deputy editor


of the Sun, then on to News of the World, and then chief executive of


the whole of News International. In the process she became close to


first Elizabeth Murdoch and then to James, but especially close to


Rupert. Rupert did say to me, and this would be an exact quote, he


said, "she social climbed her way up my family". Now Rupert is funny


because in conversation Rupert almost never says anything positive


about anyone, and is prone to say incredibly negative things about


people he actually is very close to. But I think that's a very precise


description. Remember Rupert is astute about nothing so much as


ambition itself. And he likes ambition. So much so that when the


hacking scandal became a full on corporate crisis, Murdoch senior's


first thoughts apparently were for his protege. When a reporter asked


Rupert Murdoch was his priority, barely visible he gestures towards


Rebekah Brooks and says "this one". For all their closeness and mutual


affection, Murdoch and Brooks were in reality quite different. He saw


himself as the anti-establishment outsider, she meanwhile had become


the consumate new establishment insider, friend and even confidant


of the most senior politicians in the land. She became very close to


new Labour, thanks to her first husband, EastEnders star and top


Labour luvvie, Ross Kemp. In no time at all she was a member of the


family, fiercely protective as "our Tony", as she was heard to call him


and sleepovers with Sarah Brown. And David Cameron was a close friend of


her second husband, Charlie Brooks, all members of the Chipping Norton


set. Brooks had become a power in the land. Then came phone hacking,


three sets of criminal charges, an eight month trial and 13 days on the


stand. Rebekah Brooks is a dream client. She spent I think it was 13


days in the witness box, and she was brilliant. She knew the answers that


she wanted to give. Her personal character came across as being


submissive, kind, quite funny. And the prosecution were left in a


rather unusual position really that quite apart from picking holes in


what she had said, they launched a direct attack on her, saying to the


jury, that was a performance. The prosecution case against Rebekah


Brooks was that despite being on holiday in the week the News of the


World ran a story based on the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone, she


had been in close enough contact with the office to know what was


going on. The jury were not convinced. Brooks's defence was not


that phone hacking and the rest didn't happen, rather than she had


known nothing about it. That although she had signed off hundreds


of thousands of pounds worth of payments over the years to hackers


and others, she had done so with no knowledge of who or what they were


for. It is this apparant lack of knowledge, about the financial


details of her business, that would appear to mark Brooks out from other


Murdoch bosses. Murdoch kept terrific tabs on the figures, there


was weekly figures of output, income, how many papers had been


printed, how many ads had gone and so on. These would be supplied to


him and he would question executives if they didn't have information or


not. I think if you look at Rebekah Brooks regime that she had it easier


than the editors of the Sunday Times and other papers. I think he had Mel


bowed and was a lot more relaxed and that had a lot to do with his


personal relationship with her, he trusted her. Acquittal on all


charges leaves Rebekah Brooks vindicated and Rupert Murdoch no


doubt relieved, but must leave open the question of whether she was ever


really the right person to run a newspaper business. The Guardian's


investigative report e Nick Davies broke the story in 2009 that hack


was not limited to one rogue reporter. He's with us now. In the


end one man has been convicted today, five people acquitted,


including Rebekah Brooks. A newspaper closed down, hundreds of


people lost their jobs, didn't really amount to very much did it?


You have got your facts wrong, I'm so sorry. Operation Wheating this


police inquiry charged eight people with phone hacking, and five pleaded


guilty before the trial started. Today you had a sixth person


convicted, it is a little bit misleading because the five people


who pleaded guilty before the trial started are not in the dock. They


charged eight and got six convictions, the editor, three news


editors, two specialist hackers and in addition to the one rogue


reporter originally convicted. A pretty high score. For many people


the real totem of this story, the person who was the chief executive


of the business in question, Rebekah Brooks, walked completely free? We


need to think about Rebekah Brooks's acquittals, here is the thing, I


think public opinion doesn't understand why she was acquitted.


You look at some of the stuff on Twitter today, but there is a really


easy explanation about why she was acquitted which is the prosecution


case was weak. I have spent six-and-a-half years trying to


uncover this scandal, I spent almost all of the last eight months


listening to the evidence. If I was on the jury I would have found her


not guilty. The case was too weak and the state doesn't have a right


to send people to prison unless it can prove its case. This is


important, some people rage out there talking about her being a


witch, what they are doing is hypocrisy, they are behaving like


the worst brutes at the bad end of Fleet Street who have a history of


thinking they know better than juries, and organising lynch mob


justice against her. Go quiet, give her the verdicts, she is entitled to


them. And this, this is not a story about Rebekah Brooks. It is a story


with layers and layers of scandal, which begins with the sheer scale of


crime, at the News of the World and other newsrooms in Fleet Street.


Then it is about the historic failure of the press regulator, not


just to deal with the crime but to enforce their own Code of Conduct,


then it is about the historic failure of the police and then


Government. And their relationship with Rupert Murdoch. It is not about


Rebekah Brooks, it is about power. She was someone who was extremely


powerful individual, her career has been destroyed, she's the mother of


a young child, she has walked free from court and in your view the case


against her was weak. Do you feel any sympathy towards her? A healthy


criminal justice system will take evidence, will not do what it did


when it was behaving corruptly in the past and saying these are


important people let's not look at that, and it will pass it on. The


evidence in this case was strong enough for the Crown Prosecution


Service to say this needs to go forward to a Magistrates' Court, and


the magistrates court were right to say it was a prima facia case. The


judge looked at it and thought it chuck it out but said no, to a jury.


Do you have any regret about what happened here at all? Not at all, we


are uncovering a massive scandal. She's entitled to her verdicts, but


what you had here was a criminal justice system finally doing its job


properly. Before you had cover-up and failure at every stage. It was


absolutely right that they brought these charges. You can see that by


the fact that contrary to what Steve said at the beginning, six of the


eight people who have been charged with conspiracy to hack phones are


guilty. 5,500 victims they have identified of the hacking, massive.


There have been, however, many, many journalists swept up in this, many


on bail for years sometimes, then with no charges brought. And also


many who feared that this is damaging the freedom of the press,


and allowed the freedom of the press's enemies, given them a


whacking great amount of ammunition against the press. It hasn't damaged


the freedom of the press to commit crime, to think it is above the law,


to bully the police and Government, and set up a corrupt press


regulator. In all those ways the freedom of the press has been


damaged. I'm really glad. I'm a journalist a spend my working life


in that profession, most journalists are good honest people, there is a


dark end of Fleet Street who have brought shame on the profession and


have corrupted Government and bullied police, it is great to clean


it up. I'm saying give Rebekah Brooks her verdicts, it is not the


story, it is about power. Don't complain about what the police did,


they finally did what the public needed them to do, to run an honest,


thorough inquiry. The trial was a good one. You can't criticise it, a


good judge, excellent jury, a good result here. An acquittal doesn't


mean the system is failing, but it is doing its job and separating the


evidence from the weak evidence. Isn't part of the truth that your


story that changed the dynamic of all of this, the story about Milly


Dowler's voicemail that caused such a public outcry that really got


probably many of the members of the public to notice this for the first


time. On the specifics, the deletion of Milly Dowler's voicemail, it


wasn't entirely and completely accurate. And your paper have made a


very detailed clarification on that. And that's what led to the Leveson


Inquiry, do you accept that? No that is a really complicated way of


putting it. If we are talking about the criminal investigation,


Operation Wheating, which has done all this work, started six months


before we published the Milly Dowler stories, no connection at all.


Secondly, there was a massive crisis before we published the story.


Thirdly, at the end of the day it is a complicated question and you might


not want to get into it, we still don't know the truth about that. The


evidence strongly suggests, we are running a story about it, the News


of the World did manually delete messages, just not the ones that


caused the false hope. We are running out of time, what is next?


We have disclosed in the Guardian that Rupert Murdoch will be


interviewed as a suspect by Scotland Yard. You have got another 12 trials


already scheduled involving another 20 current or former News of the


World journalist, in the background a total of 210 people have been


arrested, including 101 journalists from six different newspapers. There


are decisions yet to be made about whether they should be charged. In


summary you have probably got another two years of criminal


trials, there is masses of litigation still going on with the


victims of hacking queueing up to sue in court. We are a long way from


the end of the story. Thank you very much for coming in.


Throughout her career, Ulrika Johnson has found herself the


subject of red-top gossip columns, she worked as a columnist for the


News of the World for years, but later found the paper had been


hacking her phone. She's with us tonight. You have had years of press


attention, you weren't a stranger to it, how did you realise somebody had


been listening to your private voicemails? Well the police


contacted me in 2011, and so suspicious had I become of just more


or less anyone who calls you with anything bizarre, that I didn't call


them back and they had to make contact with me about three or four


times before they said, no we are really the police and we have some


evidence to show you. That's when they showed me evidence that, of


personal information that somebody or they had on me. How did you feel


when you realised that had actually gone on? Well it made me feel


physically sick, because it was quite, some things were quite


detailed, you know. They had the entry code to my gate at my house.


And apart from anything else lots of numbers and dates and times and


places where you have been. It does sort of immediately you are


thinking, I'm really not very important and not very, well


probably interesting but not very important and significant. It was a


horrible experience and just quite scary. We're going to look at what


is tomorrow's splash in the Sun, you have been the subject of some of


these yourself. But there tomorrow is Rebekah Brooks, a great day for


the red tops, ex-Sun editor, Rebekah Brooks found not guilty. How do you


feel when you look at that after what has happened today? Well, I


guess I was most I guess taken aback by, not taken aback by just the fact


they are claiming this as a victory, and we can't make suggestions she


was acquitted of all the charges, so it is not about whether or not the


trial was right. There is no mention of Andy Coulson


there, of course. I worked for Andy for four-and-a-half years, and


became very close to him and to his family, to his wife. We both have


children with cardiac defects who were treated at the same hospital by


the same surgeon, we had that connection. So for me on a personal


level I'm shocked at what may happen to him. But this is kind of I'm very


surprised by this. It is triumphalist. How do you feel ever


everything you have been through some parts of the press will still


try to you know try to say there has been a victory, doesn't that suggest


to you that they will carry on behaving as they did before? I


genuinely have to believe they won't thank they don't. I think this will


be or has been and will continue to be a huge and very steep learning


curve for them. I would like to think that they have cleaned up


their acts. Thank you very much for coming tonight.


No-one really comes out of this whole mess well, none of our big


institutions any way, whether press, politics or the police. They refused


for a long time to take the complaints of victims of the scandal


seriously. Painful and seemingly Eppingless wranglings on how to tame


the beast to satisfy concerns. Will it change much more the lives of


those affected. Press, police, politicians global


business and a huge public scandal. The phone hacking saga is an


extraordinary story of power and influence in modern Britain. It has


the entire establishment in it up to their necks. So how did that happen?


It goes back to 1969, the Sun, always a floating voter the Sun


famously backed Mrs Thatcher in 1969 and from then on was the newspaper


whose support politicians craved. And so began the process of


relationship building that brought Tony Blair the backing of the Sun in


1997 and David Cameron its endorsement in 2010 and gave senior


News of the World figures unrivalled access to the corridors of power.


Here at Westminster it became known that Sun support was vital to


success. Falling out with Rupert Murdoch and his people wouldn't have


been thought of as especially sensible. To cut a long story short


few people here wanted to know anything about phone hacking, until


Milly Dowler. The vast majority of people in the political world were


happy to hide. They didn't want to get into a fight with Rupert


Murdoch, why would you? That extends all the way up to the Labour Party.


Although Ed Miliband finally behaved courageously and well when the whole


story exploded, the earlier track record isn't so great. He's there


wining and dining with Rebekah Brooks, trying to make friends with


her. He's operating on the same unfortunately twisted logic that


infected David Cameron, we have to have the Murdoch crew on side. So f


that's why the politicians failed, what about the police? Once again


the problem appeared to be proximity to News International. This man quit


as Met Commissioner, when it emerged he had hired Andy Coulson's deputy


at the News of the World as a PR man for ?1,000 day. The man who led the


original phone hacking probe became News International columnist. And


Britain's top antiterrorist officer brought in to review the phone


hacking, it was revealed later was close to social editors at the


paper. He was forced to quit. Do you think they were too close? I


didn't know it at the time, I think that they probably were. It is


interesting, in one sense they were very dismissive of the media, they


were very suspicious of the media. On the other side of the coin, they


thought it was you know in a rather niave way they thought politically


it was important to have the media on side. However, what they didn't


say, they could not see over the horizon that this might be, when


things about, this might be a stick that was used to beat them with. So


it was that repeated assurances from senior police figures that there


really was no greater phone hacking scandal to be uncovered, sounded


increasingly hollow. We now know that those reassurances


were complete rubbish. Phone hacking was more widespread than had been


acknowledged and the evidence for that, 11,000 pages of notes had been


in the possession of the police themselves ever since their original


inquiry in 20006. Why didn't they investigate further? Lord Justice


Leveson looked quite closely at the police operation in 2006/07. He's


right when he says the officers who were actually involved directly in


that inquiry are straight guys, who stopped the job prematurely because


their counter terrorism officers so they had to get off and investigate


mass you are inneder on people. That is right -- murder on people. That


is right. But there are a lot of worrying linger questions. Chief


amongst them, not why Scotland Yard didn't investigate phone hacking


themselves, but went out of their way to stop others from doing so. So


the police and the politicians failed, but hang on, what about the


majority of the Fourth Estate, our free press, the envy of the world.


Well most of what was once Fleet Street didn't want to know about


phone hacking at the News of the World either. Traditionally


attacking other newspapers, well just wasn't done. Generalised


stories of press misbehaviour, well, where do you start? And throw in the


fact that no-one wanted to upset the rather comfy apple cart of voluntary


self-regulation under the Press Complaints Commission, and there you


have it. Ignore it and if you are lucky it will go away.


But it didn't. Now there was no ignoring it and the proprietors got


the very thing they had sought to avoid, another major public inquiry


into the standards, practices and ethics of the press. Months of lurid


testimony about press misbehaviour, most of it unconnected with phone


hacking brought Lord Justice Leveson to a series of potentially


far-reaching, and to victims and campaigners, long overdue


recommendations. While campaigners, vim Times and surveys appeared to


show most of the public backed firmer action, many in the newspaper


industry fear press freedom has already been damaged. Our papers


have been cleaned up as never before. It is a miracle that we


still manage to make them good, fun, irrasable products every day. Is it


your view there are many more stories that perhaps should be told


that are not being told? There is a lot more stories either being


sanatised or almost out of existence, because we can't write


the full facts or theying being spiked. # So that's -- they are


being spiked. That is politics, the police and the press. What about the


man at the centre of things, Rupert Murdoch.


He arrived 45 years ago, the arch outsider, he took on and beat branch


after branch of the British establishment. The old press when he


bought the News of the World, and later the Times and the Sunday


Times, and off the back of his success in Britain he went on to


build a huge global media empire. Shaken to the core by phone hacking.


It has been massive, one of the pivitol events in the 60-year


history of this company. It has upset his business in the UK, in


many ways certainly destablised it, maybe in fact destroyed his business


in the UK. It has caused the break-up of his company, splitting


it into the entertainment assets and newspaper assets. And perhaps most


profound of all it has hit his family very hard. It has created


rifts everywhere in the family. It is a family at war with itself now,


all over hacking. The physical home of the News of


all over hacking. The physical home that came with it has gone, but the


all over hacking. The physical home scandal is far from over. In the US


the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act beckons and here in the UK lots


more trials and even potential corporate liability. This trial,


whatever the outcome must mark the end of the Murdoch era in Britain.


As for the rest of the press, well, they are not quite what they were,


not so much because of hacking and the regulation that will follow, but


because of declining circulations and technology. As for the police


hacking has played into what have become much broader questions of


public confidence. But now the politicians they surely must have


learned their lesson? With us now are Nick fare rary a


former tabloid journal -- Ferrari, a former tabloid newspaper, a former


Star reporter and now film maker, a political philosopher who gave


evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, and the assistant editor of the


Spectator. Thank you for coming in. We heard there already stories are


being sanatised, they are being spiked, they are there are things


the public is not finding out enough about because of changes in all of


this. As somebody who was in the tabloid press and has now foresworn


your past, doesn't that concern you or is that where you want it? I


think you can look at it from the other perpicket -- perspective.


Maybe they were stories that shouldn't be printed at all. If


we're talking about the Sun, Hillsborough, that should have been


spiked and it wasn't. There is plenty of stories that aren't being


written about that should be written about. Snowdon leaks, a massive


press freedom and journalism story you won't read much about it in the


Sun. I think there is two ways of looking at that, I think that maybe


it is time for the Sun and some of the other tabloids to slightly


change their tack. Rather than the easy hits about celebrities but


really investing in proper investigative journal, there is not


enough young journalists going into the industry to do that. Instead it


is the bikini pictures on the beach. I think news land up and down the


land will be asking why, why, why. What haven't we focussed on, and


what hasn't been said is the incredible cost. The Leveson


Inquiry, ?6 million, a headline in tomorrow's Telegraph, ?100 million.


That is well over ?100 million for what? One editor found guilty, five


people cleared, it is clearly bungled, poorly executed and you


wonder why on earth they have done it. It is kept some investigative


reporters in work and they have won some awards, apart from that the


public don't care. Six people have been found guilty before the start


of the trial? They chose not to be put on trial, not found guilty. But


in terms. Impact, we heard there in that film the principal journalist


saying that stories are being spiked and stamped on. Is that a good


thing? I don't know you have to tell me the stories. If you have a


cabinet minister who has a problem with drugs, it is good we know about


it. If you have a Premier League football player running around with


call girls in a hotel, I don't care, it doesn't affect my life. The idea


a prominent politician is thieving or inappropriate behaviour it does


affect my life. Until I have heard the stories I can't comment. In


terms of the affect on the press, the nervousness that has spread, the


problem is, there is a stalemate, because some parts of the pressee,


yes, that is pretty good, and others saying no it is sending a chill up


our spines. Why is there a stalemate in terms of how people are trying to


move on? I don't see that there should be a stalemate. The press


enjoy freedom of expression and nobody has spoken out against that.


Leveson's recommendations were for self-regulation to continue, but


with an audit body to make sure that it was robust self-regulation. This


is a privilege, afterall, that other provisions no longer have. They are


only partially self-regulated. So that the proposed audit body that


Leveson recommended seems to me not something to get timid about. It is


something to, as it were, take in one's stride and create a good press


that really does serious investigative journalism, as you


say. The real thing, not the tawdry celeb stories we are getting. The


majority of the press accepting that, the royal charter, they are


tiny and just not going along with it? At the moment there is only one


body which is IPSO, independent press standards organisation, son of


PCC, and they have said that they won't apply to be audited. I suppose


they are timid that they couldn't meeted standards. Having testified


at Leveson are you satisfied with what you have seen so far. Does it


meet his requirements? What we have at this stage does not meet his


requirements, and I recently put a question in the House of Lords


whether it would be satisfactory if the only self-regulating body for


the press refused to be audited. I can't say the minister was able to


answer that question. So briefly, should the Government force the


royal charter on the press? The whole point about the royal charter


is it is not forced. There is no state regulation of the press


proposed, desspite a certain amount of sleeking. One of the --


shrieking. I can't imagine Fraser Nelson


shrieking. I think there is an unhealthy lack of trust in


politicians, it gave us the opportunity to get their hands on


regulation of the media. I'm not going to get hysterical or say they


can shut down newspapers or force stories to be spiked. At the


Spectator we have seen politicians gleefully seizing then't opportunity


presented by press regulation to try to shut down stories they find


inconvenient. We have had politicians calling our editor


trying to stop writers publishing stories that are just inconvenient.


In your view that's new? Respectfully you can't have a little


bit of regulation, you can't be a little bit pregnant. Either the


Government has got its fingers on it or it hasn't. This idea put forward


by supporters, when they are all eating pizza at 2.00am doing shady


deals where the press aren't invited. It is like an MOT, it is


cobblers, respectfully, it is everything this country has fought


against, thank God. Let's wind back there one second, you will find the


newspaper groups had ten-times as many meetings with politicians as


hacked off or anyone had. The pizza that has been denied it happened,


and it gets repeated and it is the worse way the papers work, they


repeat that again and again and again. They said on my LBC pizza.


What flavour was it, the topping, the details. It doesn't matter.


Isn't it part of being a politician to talk to the press? They have to


have connections, they have to have links do they not? Of course they


do. They have to win elections and they are very dependant on the


media. I think what we have to understand is that this is a power


relationship and what we have to think about is how do we sustain


freedom of expression, which I take to be really important in the face


of those who wish it to be controlled either by the press or by


the politicians. And I think that we have to find a way of mediating


that, Leveson's proposal, taken seriously and not looking at all the


stuff that has been said about it, is actually very clever. It is not


state regulation of the media, it does not permit censorship of


content. You hear already before the full version is up and running we


already have politicians trying to use it to shut down stories that


they don't want to be published? Politicians will always try that.


Politicians run very scared of the press. You have to recognise this.


I'm sure they don't all behave well. We have very good evidence of that


too. But it isn't a one-way story here. And self-regulation is a


privilege we are called to no other powerful body, so I think we have to


think very hard about how we sustain self-regulation without falling into


the area where we have been... Pizza aside, one of the least impressive


things this parliament has done is to force through this legislation


that enabled the royal charter in an afternoon, the day after the press


talks late at night, MPs voted on the legislation with no scrutiny


whatsoever. You talk to many Conservative MPs and they are


horrified. It is not legislation. I sat in the bill, it was debated in


the Commons. How many times do you see parties vote something through


and argue it and the arrogance saying they are above it, saying


they are above parliament. Who elected Rupert Murdoch and others,


they are not elected peers. They get elected every day by their readers.


Don't give me that. Let's see what they are serving up to readers


tomorrow morning. A quick look at the papers, the Sun we have seen.


Rebekah Brooks on the front. That is all I'm afraid we have time


Good evening. In the next few days it looks set to be a little bit


cooler compared to


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