13 June 2012

Leveson Inquiry - Module 3 - Day 19 - Clegg and Salmond

Useful Links:
Leveson Inquiry Witness Statements HERE 
Leveson Inquiry Witness Lists HERE 

Video Recordings of each day's proceedings HERE

Live Feed From Leveson Inquiry Site HERE

BBC Democracy Live Feed HERE 
Guardian Live Blog HERE

Links to relevant articles, information and comment: (links to Google digest of media articles in right-hand sidebar of blog) ---->>>
@DavidAllenGreen: Twitter - 9:09 a.m. :
Rebekah Brooks in court today: . You will recall last month she "deplore[d] this weak and unjust decision" to charge.

@KeirSimmonsITV: Twitter - 9:05 a.m. :
Cheryl Carter, Rebekah Brooks PA, queuing to get into court this morning...
@BBCBreaking: - Twitter - 10:43 a.m. :
Rebekah Brooks is bailed to appear again at Southwark Crown Court on 22 June, charged with perverting course of justice
Guardian News & Media, the publisher of the Observer, has just released this statement following Alex Salmond's remarks earlier:
Mr Salmond first raised the matter of an alleged unauthorised access of his bank account with the Observer's editor last year. The allegation was that a journalist working for the Observer had accessed his bank details in 1999. As we explained to him last year, on the basis of the information he had given us, we have been unable to find any evidence to substantiate his allegation. As our response to him at the time made clear, we take this allegation very seriously and if he is able to provide us with any more information we will investigate further.
Guardian News & Media is also the publisher of MediaGuardian.

Read Alex Salmond's correspondence with Guardian News & Media from July of last year here:

MPs vote 290 to 252 against Labour motion to investigate Jeremy ‪#Hunt‬ over his handling of News Corp's BSkyB bid
Media Archives:

Guardian Live Blog HERE
Nick Clegg swearing in..
Mr Jay begins his questioning of Nick Clegg..
@IndexLeveson: Clegg: a free press is the lifeblood of a free and democratic society. Clegg adds that a free press must be balanced against risks of abuse of power.  Clegg: politicians should not be too weak-kneed in the face of pressure. Pressure one thing, intimidation another. Clegg: the more the political class allows itself to be cajoled, the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

@benfenton: Clegg repeats Osborne/Gove line it wd be slippery slope for govt to intrude to differentiate fact from comment in newspapers
@IndexLeveson: Clegg says the three blur endlessly, cannot see any means by which you'd seek to legislate/regulate to distinguish between them.
Nick Clegg speaking about the power of the press..
@rosschawkins: Clegg: mutual dependency & political clientilism must be avoided. (Twitter comment already suggests Clegg may find that no such thing as pristine fact qt used against him)
(for ref - he was talking about how difficult it wd be to distinguish factual reporting & comment)

Clegg: think inquiry will have dramatic and lasting effect and lead to greater scepticism and wariness (between press, police, politicians)
Clegg: given enough opportunities to pure judge & jury self-regulation method to prove itself and each time it seems to have come a cropper

@IndexLeveson: Clegg: beggars belief that illegal activities seemed to be taking place on almost industrial scale. Clegg: this is a failure of corporate governance. Clegg: it is right that journos will use methods to get to truth that's actively being hidden by others. Shouldn't prevent that . Clegg: but those methods should be clearly understood by those who oversee their [reporters'] work. Clegg: if you're not clear about what the public interest is (...) that creates potential for a lot of misunderstandings.

@hackinginquiry: Clegg says public interest has no clear definition. Defined differently by different organisations. Potential to create misunderstadings.
@rosschawkins: (all rather wordy & thoughtful this - little danger in answers or Qs yet of anything too party political)
[‪#leveson‬ is keen on exploring "appropriate internal controls" as a plank of giving a more substantive public interest defence]
Jay asks about "vignette" of his own experience of press attention - the general election - Clegg: "Vignette? It's not how it felt!"

Clegg: for large parts of press in run up to gen elex Lib Dems were subject of indifference at best & derision at worst
Clegg: when Lib Dems did well in polls press went after man not the ball.
(Clegg both defending right of press to take editorial views, and being conspicuously not cross about his pre elex coverage)
Clegg: pols need to be dispassionate re what press campaigns they act on, not act on intensity of campaign.

Clegg: As a politican , you quite rightly need to be dispassionate about which (newspaper) campaigns you act upon and which you don’t.
Clegg: politicians and gov't must always be clear that they're deciding things in the public interest for benefit of country >> >> as a whole and not just as a response to loudest voices in a campaign. Clegg: regularity of my contact with eds, journos was much more intense in opposition than in government.
Clegg says this is partly due to being closer physically to hacks due to working in Westminster while in opposition. 

Clegg met Dominic Mohan from The Sun on March 16 2010, followed by 10-min brief with Rebekah Brooks and Rupert Murdoch.
Clegg: meetings less intriguing to outside world than it might seem, humdrum .
Clegg: if I meet editor or proprietor on own & s/thing raised that touches on official business will relay to officials.
Clegg: Can't think of other area where business would be able to come to a senior politician and say sthing harms their commercial interest. [On quasi-judicial BSkyB bid]
@rosschawkins: Clegg 16 dec 09 met Rupert Murdoch dinner with Brooks / Witherow; was at end of table where children sit so to speak. (Clegg says he had Telegraph & Dacre opposing BSkyB bid to him, not one way traffic with only Murdoch having chance to persuade)
Clegg about meetings with press: Sometimes adviser would sit in and sometimes not, and it would usually be decided fairly spontaneaously.
Clegg: met Fred Michel in opposition both socially & formally, met many years ago
Clegg knew Fred Michel socially because their children at same school in SW London. Not seen him since Sept 2010 and didn't discuss Sky bid.
Clegg:what has bigger effect on public's view of politicians is sustained prism through which they're described over period of time.
Clegg: did ask editors if they'd support Lib Dems 
From Guardian Live Blog:
Jay asks Clegg whether politicians are in danger of "being transactionable" when they have discussions with media executives in a bid to win the support of their newspapers. Clegg says all discussions are a form of transaction, but adds that politicians have to guard against the relationship falling outside the public interest.
Nick Clegg explaing what it is like dealing with the media as part of a coalition..
@IndexLeveson: Clegg: coalition is a mix and match of different teams (...) means you can't keep doing what you did in opposition
@hackinginquiry: Clegg: since inquiry has been established... this is something which weighs very very heavily on (editors') minds.
@IndexLeveson: Clegg says inquiry important but more so for those it directly affects than those concerned about petrol/food prices etc 
#Leveson‬: I hold no belief that this Inquiry has anything like the significance that should be attached to other issues (e.g. econ)

Clegg calling for a statutory register of lobbyists "principally to address the status of lobbyists (like Michel)"
Clegg says editors + owners get privileged one to one access to a top pol to lobby whereas CEO of a large mrfng coy would be met w officials
Clegg - "a danger" that lobbyists for media companies "have more power over politicians" than other sectors.

From Guardian Live Blog:
In his witness statement, Clegg says there is a danger that lobbyists for media companies have more influence on politicians than lobbyists in other sectors.
He explains that the media is a "unique" industry and lobbyists on behalf of those companies are in a more privileged position.

Clegg says his admiration for News Intl as an insurgent shaking up incumbents [?] is balanced by liberal concern over concentration of power.
Clegg: rather like the idea of sort of insurgents coming in and shaking up existing vested interests 
"I was quizzical at the beginning about the timing of it.In days after election, G Brown sd "This is all about Murdoch......Murdoch wants the Conservatives in govt. So when bid was announced few weeks after that I though oh what is reason for timing of that."

Clegg: asking qs about timing, open-minded on how process evolved, sceptical about dangers of concentration of power in hands of News Corp.
Norman Lamb [Lib Dem adviser] told him that he had been told it wd be good for Lib Dems to be open to the bid or we wd expect ...
"...unfavourable treatment from Murdoch press. He was quite agitated about that. As we hadn't been having fave treatment in 1st place...
"I didn't think it was a very credible threat..." [So Lib Dems were warned they shd back bid or get panned? No follow-up from Jay]

(reminiscent of Cable saying he'd been told Fred Michel had made veiled threats about Lib Dems being done over by papers)
(as others have noted, you might have thought Jay would pursue the point))
Clegg: Tim Colbourne's witness sttment says that Michel wanted to discuss the current agenda around the creative industry, not bid .
Norman Lamb was chief parliamentary and political adviser to DPM Nick Clegg when he raised alarm about hostile coverage from NI.
Clegg: Johnny Oates' email reflects my own view that everyone should pipe down (about bid)... and just let Cable get on with it
[Email appeared on screen where Michel tells Murdoch that Oates said bid was matter for Secretary of State, not Lib Dems]

Clegg: that interested parties shd want to talk to Lib Dems, that's what party confs are about, scrum of people ttalking to each other.

Guardian Live Blog:
Jay says that Dom Foster, the Lib Dem MP, planned to write a memo to Clegg in support of the bid.
Clegg says he never saw the memo and Foster does not recall writing one.
Clegg says he "very consciously avoided getting involved in the substance of discussions" about the BSkyB bid, on which he had no, and did not wish for, any input.
Text from Michel to someone saying Telegraph would blackmail Vince Cable and that Oakeshott and other LDs said "we should sell the Times"
[Not clear who received the text. Seems to have been sent on Dec 21, 2010]

Nick Clegg explaining events in the immediate aftermath of the Cable/Telegraph 'sting being made public by BBC
Clegg: I felt it right that I should hear from Vince Cable first (on Telegraph story)
Clegg met Cable after broke story about "war on Murdoch" remarks.Cable wanted to hand bid to Ed Davey, Lib Dem minister.
Clegg told Cable he did not think "that would do the trick".Further discussions with Cab Sec about giving responsibility to Hunt.

Clegg: I recognised, partly why I was quite frustrated, that it made it impossible for him to carry on being responsible for the decision
Clegg: I remember asking questions of Gus O'Donnell if I could be sure the bid would be dealt with objectively and appropriately by Mr Hunt
Clegg: I remembered operating on the assumption that he (Hunt) would be favourably disposed towards the bid

Clegg still believes it was right for Hunt to be given responsibility for the bid.Even Hunt's note to Cam didn't change that.
Clegg adverts to the Commons debate today.Deputy PM says Hunt gave full and convincing account of how he handled bid to ‪#leveson

LJ Leveson telling Clegg he has reservations that the Quasi-judicial role of MPs should go unchallenged..
Clegg says the plurality rules are far too vague and were chucked into 2003 Comms act at last minute.Shd be tidied up.But bid handling OK.
Clegg: What is flawed at the moment is that the instruments available to us are quite imprecise. They’re poorly defined.
Clegg: They’re subject to a huge amount of interpretation. Notably, in this case, the plurality test.
Clegg: If you read in the Enterprise Act how the public interest and plurality are defined, you can run a coach and horses through it.

Clegg: press going through huge change. Hyperbolic shrill tone in press due to competition fighting for diminished pool of readers. 
Clegg: plurality is not a mathematical formula. Can't just get your calculator out. (in contrast to Milliband yest who wants 2 cap NI share)
Clegg urges ‪#Leveson‬ to propose clarification of ministers powers in relation to plurality.
Clegg says v odd that if media group grows organically nothing triggers competition review.

Norman Lamb MP has written to Leveson on the issue of News Corp "veiled" threats - that's fm
Clegg says rules for secretaries of state to deal with process should be tightened to protect politicians from accusations of undue bias.
Clegg: overall view is that everywhere seems to agree the current oversight and regulatory framework in which press operates is discredited.
Clegg: It would be well worth exploring enshrining some sort of quasi consitutional statute that protects the freedom of the press.
CLegg: and supplement it with a clearer defintion of public interest.
Clegg: you need to take steps to protect the freedom of the press and take steps to ensure against the abuse of power in the press.
Clegg defends statutory underpinning for a news system of regulation.
Clegg asks those who are opposed to explain how they would solve the "Desmond problem" otherwise.
Clegg: Anything that has to be in a sense processed by politicians in Parliament, you have to tread a fine line.
Clegg: the Irish model is fascinating because of the way they got round the "Desmond problem".

Clegg: need to tread a fine line w/ anything that has to be in a sense processed by politicians in Parliament.
Clegg said earlier freedom of press should be enshrined and supplemented w/ clearer definition of what is in the public interest  

Clegg: Not yet heard anyone made a persuasive case that you can have independent regulation with teeth and full participation of all parts.
Clegg: it's outrageous that innocent people who haven't asked to be put forward in the public eye at all are destroyed like that  

Guardian Live Blog;
Clegg says he has not heard a convincing case for independent, voluntary regulation of the press. "If someone comes up with that, great," he adds.
Parliament does need to play a role in making sure there is involvement from groups across the industry, he adds.
Like Labour yesterday, Clegg says he'll work hard to ensure cross-party consensus on what recommends

From Guardian Live blog:
On Clegg's idea of a clearer definition of the public interest, Leveson says there could be a danger that it would have a damaging effect on use of the definition in other areas of public life.
12.30pm: Clegg describes as "preposterous" the suggestion that the Leveson inquiry is having a "chilling effect" on journalists, as suggested by education secretary Michael Gove in February.
Clegg: proud ourselves on being sceptical abt vested interests, not just in press, but as said before, whether it was trade unions, bankers.

Guardian Live Blog:
Jay asks about Clegg's stance on the phone-hacking scandal.
Clegg is not sure when he first called for a public inquiry into the affair.
Clegg says of phone hacking: "I cannot believe that almost amoral behaviour towards helpless people other than in the context of newsroom cultures that were totally beyond control."
Those journalists operated in a culture of "impunity" which was an expression of the close relations between the press, police and politicians.
"The arms of the state that were enforcing the law and ensuring transparency were actually doing the reverse, so they thought, 'Great, we can do what we want.'"
 Nick Clegg's testimony is ended.

From Guardian Live Blog:
Here is a lunchtime summary of Nick Clegg's evidence to the Leveson inquiry:
• Clegg endorsed Jeremy Hunt's quasi-judicial oversight of News Corp's BSkyB bid.
• David Cameron gave Clegg assurances on Andy Coulson after the 2010 election.
• Clegg endorsed statutory backing for the new press regulator and the definition of the public interest.
• Clegg was "quizzical" about the timing of the BSkyB bid after the election following a warning from outgoing PM Gordon Brown.
• Norman Lamb, Clegg's ex-political adviser, warned the deputy PM of "lack of favourable coverage" from News International papers if the Lib Dems opposed BSkyB bid.
• Vince Cable wanted Ed Davey to assume the BSkyB role after he was stripped of quasi-judicial oversight on 21 December 2010.
• The Press Complaints Commission is "toothless" and self-regulation has failed repeatedly, Clegg said.
Media Archives:

Guardian Live Blog HERE
FM Alex Salmond swears in...
Mr Jay begins his questioning...
@hackinginquiry: Salmond: senior politicians have been publishing their meetings with senior newspaper exectuives. Transparency a good thing. Salmond: all politicans, perhaps all people would like to live in a world where news and comment were carefully separated . Salmond: people have right not to observe code (which says newspapers should differentiate between conjecture, fact and opinion) 
Alex Salmond speaking about press freedom and Editors' Code.
@TomJHarper: Salmond: "I briefed against Tony Blair obsessively."
From Guardian Live Blog:
Salmond says openly – and somewhat glibly – that he "briefed incessantly" against Tony Blair, when the former prime minister is raised in a question from Jay. The counsel to the inquiry might like to come back to that. Salmond might be in danger of finding he has misjudged the mood of the inquiry on that one.
@IndexLeveson: Salmond: separation of fact and comment not practical in terms of supervision, nor in point of principle of papers pursuing views.
Salmond: supreme counterbalance of pub interest is upholding criminal law. I think it’s at least arguable it hasn’t over the last few years.
#leveson‬ refers to "English parliament" - "I like the term" says Salmond "I approve of it" ‪#leveson‬ silenced
Salmond: I wouldn’t argue and haven’t argued for a privacy law.
@IndexLeveson: Salmond: If over-prescriptive solution suggested then Scottish Parliament might wish not to apply that. 
@hackinginquiry: Salmond: downside of that extent of intervention would be it which would inhibit freedom of speech/lead to unhealthy democratic consequences. 
@IndexLeveson: Salmond: could be argued defamation in Scotland in better shape than in England and Wales (e.g. in terms of size of claims)
@hackinginquiry: Salmond says Scottish considering whether defamation law should be changed following Watsons' plight ‪[Watsons' daughter was murdered - series of defamatory articles published. Their son committed suicide clutching copies of the articles] [Margaret and John Watson gave evidence to ‪#Leveson‬ on Nov 22 ]Salmond: more recently I think you have to accept that there are a significant Scottish examples of possible criminality. Salmond: no evidence that my own phone has been hacked. Have not been contacted by Strathclyde Police. 
Salmond: believe my bank account was accessed by the Observer in 1999.
Salmond says led to believe this b/c Observer journo gave him detailed description of what was in his acct
Salmond says the journo told him he knew he'd bought toys for his niece, says this could only be known via accessing bank acct
: it shouldn't just be a matter for the criminal law, because we can't put a policeman on everybody's shoulder

Salmond seems very taken with police inaction."Very little was done to uphold the criminal law." ‪#Leveson‬ says shdn't he ask more of papers.
Salmond: The Daily Record has been consistent in its hostility.
Salmond on hostile front page: "I wasn't crying in my porridge when I saw that on election morning"
Salmond: tried to persuade Daily telegraph to take sympathetic attitude to SNP & independence .

Salmond: "Met Rebekah Brooks in 2007. It was less than successful. Had more success with Sun ed in Scotland who wanted 2B more even-handed."
Salmond says he doesn't meet with Associated Newspapers: "They are an exception to my 'no lost cause' rule (re meeting journos)."
Salmond said Rebekah Brooks made bizarre request for him to recommend someone to "pursue a case against the SNP" (?)  

Salmond: I conduct very few conversations these days when the subject of Scottish independence does not emerge.
Salmond:That’s not only reason for meeting editors (Scottish independence). Often there are meetings abt specific issues, specific campaigns
Salmond agrees that editors/proprietors make it clear to him which of his policies they dislike. 
Salmond: editors and proprietors bring forward their views on what gov't should/shouldn't be doing. Absolutely entitled to do so.

Salmond: you can't have a quid pro quo relationship and say "your newspaper supports us and we'll legislate to make it the only one on sale"
Salmond talking about disclosure of info about sex offenders after News of the World campaign.
Salmond describes persuading BBC to put BBC Alba on Freeview
Salmond: describing Homecoming campaign - you have to opt out if you don't want to be Scottish in our definition.
Jay now looking at emails to Salmond about an initiative called Homecoming (anniversary of birth of Robert Burns, Scottish poet) 
Salmond: we wanted it to get maximum coverage across the media.
Salmond now discussing complaint from Scottish Council Jewish Council about offensive comments posted on news websites.

Salmond: I wrote to the editor of the Herald, editor of Scotsman, saying newspapers should accept responsibility to moderate comments.
Salmond: Legislation specifically looks at comments which are threatening. People do not have the right through the internet to threaten.

From Guardian Live Blog:
Jay turns to a letter in 2009 written by Salmond to the editors of the Herald newspaper and the Scotsman about comments posted on their websites.
The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities gave him specific examples of alleged anti-semitic comments left underneath articles on newspaper website. He told the newspapers they have to have a responsibility to monitor comments posted on their websites. Both papers accepted that responsibility, he says.
Salmond: any careless suggestion in the press that I've got an anti-English bone in my body I have responded to 
Salmond: I keep hearing at this inquiry and elsewhere politicians say they don’t bother about what’s written about them in the press.

Salmond: I find that very difficult to believe. Politicians, like everyone else, care about theses things and should care about these things. 
Eleven meetings and phone calls between Salmond and Murdoch between Oct 2010 and Feb 201.
Salmond: Often we (Murdoch) were discussing SCotland and his Scottish ancestry.

Salmond: "I have met Rupert Murdoch 5 times in 5 years. that is not in the same league as Blair, Brown and Cameron." ‪
Salmond: when I opened the News International offices in 2007 the Sun newspaper were still strongly supporting the Labour Party.
Salmond exchanged letters with Murdoch inviting him to Pageant event and asking if Sky would cover it . 
Murdoch replied couldn't promise to be there but had sent his request to Sky News and "either them or I will be in touch"  
Alex Salmond discussing the jobs created for Scotland by BSkyB.
Salmond: Murdoch's argument was expansion of digital platform would = more investment, Scotland would be well-placed to benefit
Salmond: I was in favour of what benefited the Scottish economy. I have no responsibility for broadcasting or media plurality.
Salmond: I'd tend to put emphasis on jobs and investment aspect of this .

From Guardian Live Blog:
Salmond met James Murdoch for lunch in London in January 2011. He met him again later that year. The pair discussed BSkB's operations in Scotland and the risk of the company outsourcing parts of its role north of the border.
"BSkyB is a huge employer in Scotland. We're talking about more than 6,000 jobs … some 36% of BSkyB's total global employment is in Scotland. So it's a matter of great importance," says Salmond.
Murdoch told him Scotland would be "well placed" as BSkyB invested in its platform, says Salmond.
Jay: Mr Salmond, before Jan 2011 were you a supporter of BsKyB bid or not?

Salmond: I'd said I'd be prepared to argue to the secretary of state ... the argument that jobs and investment should be taken into account.

Guardian Live Blog:
Salmond says he would have been happy to speak to the relevant secretary of state to urge them to consider the matter of jobs and investment in Scotland when weighing up the BSkyB bid.
However, an appropriate opportunity to do this never arose because the bid fell through, he adds.
Salmond told James murpdch he would make the argument with Vincent cable that BSkyB bid aha go ahead on jobs grounds but didn't get chance.

Guardian Live Blog:
Salmond says he has never discussed corporation tax with James Murdoch, but they did speak about the economic impact of the bid on Scotland.
Salmond says he hasn't explicitly asked for support fm Murdochs, but said any such discussion met with request to talk to editors.
Salmond: I don't think I have ever explicitly asked him for supper for the party. Remember Sunday times has avowedly unionist editor in scot.

From Guardian Live Blog:
Salmond confirms in his witness statement that he spoke to Murdoch about the Scottish Sun backing his party. 
Paraphrase - Mr Jay: Do you feel your meeting with James Murdoch helped in any way to persuade Editors in Scotland to support SNP?
Salmond: There was substantive discussion where I was putting forward arguments why (Scot Sun) should change editorial stance and supportSNP 
Salmond: we won election because we had substantive record, team and vision for the future.

Salmond: I don't have responsibility for competition and plurality in media. I do have responsibility for jobs and investment in Scotland.
[On approaching Vince Cable or Jeremy Hunt on BSkyB bid]  

From Guardian Live Blog:
Salmond says he did not believe that his offer of support over BSkyB to James Murdoch would ensure him the support of News International titles in Scotland.
Jay asks about a change in the editorial line of the Scottish Sun in early 2011.
Salmond says he spoke to the new editor of the title, Andy Harris, twice after this.
The editorial position of the paper changed in March 2011 to support the SNP.
Salmond is asked if it is right that he agreed to call Jeremy Hunt "whenever we [News Corp] need him to".
Salmond says that is an "encapsulation" of what he had agreed, namely that he agreed to try convince Hunt about the economic benefits of the BSkyB takeover for Scotland.
Salmond meets James murdoch Jan, says he is in favour of BSkyB bid. Suns coverage of SNP begins to change in February 
Jay now looking at email from Michel to James Murdoch. Salmond confirms what's written on email and says he called Michel
Alex Salmond had dinner with sun Scotland Ed 1 march 2011, then phones Fred Michel to see if hencan help 'smooth' switch of paper to SNP
Michel wrote: "Alex wanted to see whether we could help smooth the way for the process (Sun changing support from Labour to SNP)"
Michel email: On the Sky bid, he (Salmond) will make himself available to support the debate if consultation is launched.
‪Salmond says that's not entirely accurate. He said they knew he was prepared to argue for jobs and investment for Scotland

Guardian Live Blog:
Jay tells Salmond that a succession of witnesses have told the inquiry that Rupert Murdoch had ultimate authorisation of a change in his newspapers' editorial line. This seems inconsistent with the "hands off" approach suggested by Salmond.
The first minister repeats that he was told by Murdoch he should go to the editor of the Scottish Sun if he wished to canvass for its support.
Salmond says he believed the BSkyB bid would be referred to the competition commission, but wanted to urge the culture secretary that "jobs and investment in Scotland" were a relevant aspect to the takeover that must be considered.
Salmond rang F Michel to see if JRM could 'smooth' support for SNP in Scottish sun but says ed 'was enthusiastic, already up for the cup'

Guardian Live Blog:
Jay suggests Salmond was "in a deft sort of way" engaging in a quid pro quo with the Murdochs.
Salmond denies this. "The two things weren't connected in that way. There was no quid pro quo," he says.
He says he attempted separately to lobby the editor of the Scottish Sun.
Jay and Salmond talking about meetings between Salmond and Murdoch.

Guardian Live Blog:
Salmond is asked whether the BSkyB bid was discussed at a meeting with Rupert Murdoch in June 2011, after the Scottish election.
He says it was not because Scottish independence was top of the agenda. Murdoch has a great interest in Scotland and his Scottish ancestry, Salmond tells Leveson.
Salmond adds that the media tycoon was becoming "increasingly warm" to the idea of independence, but was still sceptical.
Salmond: in relation to other politicians who have been befoer you my number of meetings with Mr Murdoch are very few in comparison 
Jay refers to a tweet written by Murdoch calling Salmond "clearly the most brilliant politician in the UK"

From Guardian Live Blog:
Jay suggests the Murdoch and Salmond warmed to each other ever since the first minister pledged his support to the BSkyB takeover.
Jay asks about Murdoch's February 2012 tweets:
Salmond says: "There wasn't a deal here."
He adds that he tried to deal with people in a "proper businesslike, cordial manner".

Salmond: there are ways of accessing people's data which are not illegal and might be argued that's a perfectly proper way to do things.
Salmond: an assumed illegality can have been taking place on a huge scale and nothing substantial done about it.
Salmond: I think the freedom of the press is important not just as a matter of practice but as a matter of principle.
Salmond: redress from illegal behaviour is clear enough. Redress from other behaviour should be open for all, individuals or groups .
 Alex Salmond's testimony is complete.