Sir Ian Blair is under increasing pressure for recording a number of telephone calls without permission, not least one with Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General:
Lord Goldsmith is said to be “rather cross” and “somewhat disappointed”.
Sir Ian, who is thought to be on holiday, has also admitted taping calls with senior officials from the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
The BBC article cited above goes on to clarify that it is perfectly legal in the UK to record a telephone conversation for personal use, but it becomes a civil offence if that recording is then shared with a third party.
I must confess – I don’t see what all the fuss is about at this stage. My first thought would be that he took the recordings of what were undoubtedly legally sensitive phone calls so that he could later transcribe them, and be sure that he had an accurate record of what was said. (And which he could then legally share). I would call this prudent, although it would certainly have been a common courtesy if he had informed the Attorney General that he was about to record their conversation.
The question, of course, is whether he typed the transcripts up himself, or had a secretary do it for him…