In his oral evidence to the inquiry yesterday, editor of the Daily Telegraph Tony Gallagher was asked about the PCC’s ruling in 2011 that the newspaper was wrong to use subterfuge to record MP Vince Cable at a constituency meeting – although the depth of questioning of Gallagher was criticised by Roy Greenslade in his Guardian blog.
Here is what Gallagher had to say:
The PCC ruling, which we accepted but were unhappy with … they required us to publish an abridged version of that ruling.
I felt that it was a matter of such public interest that we should publish the entire ruling, which was, from memory, about a third longer than the abridged ruling. We published it in its entirety.
When asked what the public interest was in publishing the entire ruling, he responded that “the story itself generated a huge controversy” and “was probably the most important PCC ruling of 2011”.
I felt in the interests of justice, we should carry the entire ruling, given that we’d devoted a fair amount of space to the embarrassment of the Liberal Democrats in December 2010.