• Sir Brian says beforehand it would be “wrong” for him to engage in regulation debate
• ‘Naive’ to think my recommendations would be universally accepted, he tells MPs
13:04 Meeting ends.
13:02 Will Sir Brian be undertaking a part two to his inquiry? Nothing can happen until all the criminal trials are out the way, he says. “At that stage someone will have to look and see where we are on who did what to whom, where we are on independent self-regulation of the press and look at what needs to be done further. Doubtless the then Government will make recommendations.”
He doesn’t rule out overseeing a part two but says he now has substantial amounts of work running the Queen’s Bench Division.
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13:00 Hasn’t he effectively given the press a veto on any reform? Sir Brian replies: “I don’t think the press have a veto. It is for you to decide how you believe the way forward should be. Ultimately there needs to be an independent and effective mechanism to regulate the press. The concern the press most reflected to me was statutory regulation and submissions were made to me that I should impose a mechanism of statutory regulation. I believed there was sufficient understanding of the problem and support not to have to go down that route and I didn’t.”
12:58 Sir Brian: “The industry must set up their regulator for themselves but I’m keen it should be independent and effective. It has to work for them but it has to work for the public and I hope that in whatever they set up they are mindful of the public concern that has been generated.”
12:57 It is put to Sir Brian that one of the problems with the standards code is not the code itself but the enforcement. He says: “You’ve read what I’ve said about the code.”
12:55 Sir Brian on his recommendations on the editorial standards code: “I was very keen to ensure that serving editors had buy-in but equally that they weren’t determinative.”
12:47 The Daily Mail’s article on Ralph Miliband: another thing Sir Brian won’t be drawn on.
12:46 Sir Brian repeats that he does not believe his recommendations entail state regulation of the press.
12:36: Philip Davies questions why Miss Patry Hoskins was paid so much to spend the last four months of the process just “collating facts and proof reading.” Sir Brian says: “Her role changed very much as we moved on.”
12:34 Philip Davies asks him why he took no action. Sir Brian: “I’m sorry, what action should I have taken when?” Insists he had heard no rumours about the relationship before Miss Patry Hoskins’ involvement in the inquiry ended.
David Sherborne and Carine Patry Hoskins
12:32 Philip Davies brings up the Carine Patry Hoskins/David Sherborne affair. Asks Leveson when and how he learned of it.
Sir Brian: “I first learnt there was any relationship in March 2013.”
12:25 Philip Davies explains he asked the question because everyone who makes decisions makes mistakes and says he finds it “extraordinary” Sir Brian doesn’t think he’s made any.
Sir Brian replies: “You shouldn’t consider it too extraordinary. It assumes I’ve gone back and thought about it again and again. I’m a judge. If I reflected again and again on ‘is that the right decision?’, I would never sleep at night.
“I’m proud of this piece of work. I’m not saying it’s free of error but it’s the very best I could do.”
12:22 Philip Davies MP asks: “Do you have any regrets about what you put in your report or how the inquiry was conducted?”
Sir Brian: “I regret that I thought it would be of assistance to identify the history of newspapers, which was not part of the formal submitted evidence, and that someone researching the history of the Independent newspaper picked up an error and put it in the report and that this allowed much sport to be made of me and my report.”
He adds: “There are also some typos (cue laughter) and some minor factual errors…Do I regret the way we conducted the inquiry? No I don’t. In retrospect I might have changed some of the witnesses, but that would be in any inquiry.”
12:17 Asked by Ben Bradshaw MP if he’s happy with the way the “uncontentious” parts of his report are being taken forward, Sir Brian says: “Well I’m not sure that I know.”
12:08 Asked if he’s been the subject of press intrusion himself since publishing his report, Sir Brian replies carefully: “Not as far as I’m aware.”
12:07 Asked about Rupert Murdoch’s claim that newspapers will be gagged to “protect toffs”, Sir Brian says: “I certainly am very frustrated about representations of my report that are not accurate.”
12:05 “I would be sorry if my recommendations were lost”, Sir Brian admits.
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