State of Play (2003–…): Season 1, Episode 6 - Episode #1.6 - full transcript


There's a toothbrush and a shirt here.


L'll leave them outside.


Your shoes are here.

How are you gonna get round the injunction?

We don't know yet.

When you say George Fergus took backhanders,
he'll sue you and win.

Yeah, that'd get past an editor (!)

"They're all clean as whistles. L know because
they sent my friend Stephen to tell me."

The government knew exactly who Sonia was.

George upwards, from day one.

What do you call that, eh? It's not corruption.
Inverted corruption?

They watched her leak anything relevant
and watched U-EX take the piss out of me.

L don't understand.
How come they didn't just blow it?

Blow it? Why? That would involve a scrap.
This was never a scrap.

Just as U-EX were eventually going to concede
points to the Treasury, they could run the show.

Stephen, why are you telling me this?

You write it and print it.

If l print that, they'll know it came from you.

- Good.
- It'll finish you.

So? Not before l scare the shit out of U-EX.
They'll concede points then.

Whoa, whoa, Stephen, Stephen.

- Hang on. You're upset, you need to think.
- Not before l bury George Fergus.

Oh, l've thought about it.

Select Committee report.

The minutes of every meeting, every hearing.

L can show you conversations we had that
relate to inexplicable changes in strategy by U-EX.

L'll give you an affidavit
repeating everything George Fergus told me.

L'll give you
everything you need to blow this sky high.

Am l allowed to print this off?

How much paper do you think you'll need?

We're on with Foy.
Go with Della, put the squeeze on him.

- We need whatever information...
- We're on?

We need a letter, a fax...
And we need it tonight.

L've got Stephen Collins ready to put his name
to everything we've got... and more.

He can implicate George Fergus upwards.

- A lot more.
- How much is he asking?

He's not asking, but he'll need a lawyer
acting solely on his behalf.

- How do l ask for that and not send flares up?
- L'm still editor.

Yeah, but this story, if she finds out
we can back it, will she not try to fuck us over?

Pete, can you use upstairs?

- Would Collins talk to anybody else?
- He came to me.

How do you know he's not stitching you up?

They've hurt him. He's gonna talk.

- Exclusively?
- Yes.

Can l hear him say that?

- Is this a bad time?
- No, we're finished now.

How are you feeling?

Here's something to cheer you up, Dominic.


- Dominic...
- Aww!

You implied you've got some kind of protection.

Something to verify what you've told us.

- A letter? Taped call?
- No...

No what? There isn't, or never was?

(MUFFLED) Right? Forget it.

That's... That's mine.

The only way you cover yourself
is by letting somebody else see it.

L don't need protection from you!

L shouldn't need to verify anything
to people like you!

You're not even here under your real name.
How come, if you're not scared?

We've just heard...

...Stephen Collins has resigned.

- Good.
- Not resigned as in "resigned to".

He's raving. He's going to the press.

He'll name you.

He's bound to.

- Give us a price.
- Hang on. What's he offering?

It's an e-mail.

One sentence.

Fourteen... syllables.

- He wants ten grand.
- Jesus! For what?

It links one of the top brass at U-EX
to Warner-Schloss to Sonia Baker.

He says she's definitely mentioned in an e-mail.

OK, find Helen and go to my house.
Stephen knows you're coming.

And tell Dan to come back here. OK?



- Can we talk?
- L haven't finished going through it all.

- Glad you're not a proof-reader.
- L'm glad you don't compile crosswords.

Dominic Foy's changed his story every time.

- It's a process.
- U-EX's lawyers would bounce him all over court.

Look, if you don't want the story,
then give it back.

- The copyright is mine.
- You're a staff writer.

Cameron sacked me long before all this.
L'm freelance.

14-day rolling contracts.

Only because l brought that story.
My terms say l can walk if it's not picked up.

Well, we had no option. We wanted the story.

Adam, go over
Cal McCaffrey's freelance contract.

L want to know how much it will cost me
to break the terms.

Do l sound like l'm not serious?

You hard-faced bastard.
How long have l worked for you?

Long enough to know never to try threatening me.

Fine. Fine.

If the Media Group want to look like they
bottled it so they get government favours...

- Scared of the government (?)
- They want to buy radio licences.

- Won't happen if they piss the government off.
- Where did you get that?

Is that true?

- She's here to obstruct us.
- That is not my brief.

If this gets out - and it will -
you're going to end up looking like a mug.

The sale on this story
is conditional to its legal status.

Yvonne, grow up.

Why have they given you power over the budget
but only on this story?

Another 20 grand would nail it. Conclusively.

Legally and exclusively.

For that l can give you an e-mail
linking U-EX Oil directly to Sonia Baker.

An e-mail is not a quality document.

It is if you have a sworn affidavit
from Stephen Collins confirming its contents.

- Since when?
- Since he rejected a seat on the Cabinet.

He won't talk to anybody else.

So l'll just take a hike
and give it straight to the "Telegraph".

And um... well, if he does that...
l'm going with him.

And you'd be very wise to follow,
unless you've got enough to retire on.

- Mr Stagg.
- Interview with Sonny Stagg. 18:05.

Present, Detective Chief Inspector William Bell
and Detective Sergeant Mark Cheweski

So what do you want
to tell us about your brother's death?

19th May, 10th September. May in particular.

We discussed U-EX's history
on environmental requirements.

- As in no history?
- Total disregard.

Within eight weeks
they launched two offensives.

New processing emission reduction in 15
plants. Not fitting them, just announcing them.

And a national school science awareness
campaign. Same in September.

And we'd discussed a 10% decline
in their community obligations over 15 years.

- Wasn't this starting to look obvious?
- Not across a year.

Just shoring up their shareholders.
Look up 22nd of September.

That was one of their own submissions
by a young guy called Chris... oh.

L'll look it up. Obnoxious. L mean,
really how not to submit to a session.

We discussed what a prick he was.
Then they fire him.

Look up the 18th of September.

- Yvonne, l was just doing you a coffee.
- Tell him to spend the money.

- It had better be watertight.
- How much do we need to tell 'em?

- L'll work that out in the cab.
- Lovely... shoes.

Paul Canning, Warner-Schloss, to Dominic Foy.

Which computer received this? Home or office?


Hardware's included in the price, by the way.

Hi, Pete? Yeah, tell Cal l've got it.

For once in his life, Dominic's done good.

L think the money helped. It reads...

75% of the details of most sessions
wouldn't carry much currency for espionage,

but enough significant material passed through
Sonia Baker's hands to justify, in my opinion,

why she would be useful to the oil industry,
U-EX in particular,

because they, again in my opinion,

were the only company directly responding
to hostile perceptions of their working practices.

At no time was Sonia Baker discussed with me
outside of her role as researcher.

L've discovered that senior Cabinet members
knew of my relationship

before l was forced to disclose it at a press
conference, orchestrated by Andrew Wilson,

but suggested by George Fergus.

My secretary, Greer Thornton,
confronted George Fergus directly,

naming him as the architect of that deception.
When he needed to deny it, he said nothing.

L've just heard that Greer's resigned
from her post, but l want to put it on record

that she did nothing wrong. She went on the
recommendations of a senior Cabinet minister

with no justifiable indication
that he was a born liar.

L'll put that statement on tape.

Greer Thornton made the mistake of acting
on recommendations of a senior Cabinet minister

with no justifiable indication
that he was a born liar.

(ANNE) What's the point in him resigning?

He's only resigning as chairman
of the select committee, not as an MP.

The worst that could happen is they turn him
into a loudmouth backbencher,

which sounds like Stephen Collins to me.


Er... just bike it over, then. L'll fire it straight back.

OK. Yeah. Cheers.

L just need to charge this up.

L guess l should phone Anne and the kids.

Sure. How did it go downstairs?


Listen. Use the land-line. L'll leave you to it.

- (ANNE) Hello?
- It's me before you say anything embarrassing.

How are you?

- Thank you for your help. That was lovely.
- Go OK?

Mogadon lawyer. L wouldn't have picked him.
Is he staying here?

- L don't know.
- Helps if he is.

- Doesn't help me.
- Offer him a hotel. Make it sound grubby.

- Can l get a lift with you?
- We'll split the petrol.

Cal, Dan's trying to get you. He's got it.

- Della's going to sting Richard Siegler.
- How much of this will we need?

- Enough to make it look like we've got more.
- That's clear.


- Hello?
- Um, Richard Siegler, please.

- Speaking.
- My name's Della Smith.

L'm making enquiries
about an employee of yours - Sonia Baker.

Mr Siegler?

- You're a journalist.
- That's right.

- How did you get my home number?
- One of your other colleagues, l think.

Sonia Baker was never an employee of ours.
And that's all l want to say.

But you actually mentioned her in an e-mail
to your lobbyists, Warner-Schloss.

- That's not true. That's all l have to say.


dated the 15th of last month.

Quote, "If Miss Baker is a lost cause,
l hold you responsible."

That's what we're printing tomorrow.
Yours is the only name we're using.

What do you want to do about that?

L'll lose my job. That doesn't matter to you.

- Sonia Baker lost her life.
- Don't connect me...

You endorsed misinformation of a government
department for commercial benefit.

L'm not suggesting you pushed her
under a train, but somebody did.

There was a confidential internal memo
towards the end of last year. Christmas time.

It said we should treat all incoming information
from Sonia Baker as top priority.

L assumed she was a field worker.

L thought she was.

It was only when l was put in charge of
her feedback l realised who and where she was.

- L had nothing to do with her appointment.
- Memos addressed to?

Paul Canning, Warner-Schloss.

Freddie Mayer and Susan Sagattchean
in Communications, and me.


From above me.

One name, on paper, to make yours disappear.

Oh, dear God...

Here's a woman, working for us,
straight from the Department of Energy.

They recommended her! All above board.

But two days before Sonia died
she came to you to end the deal! Only two days...

- Yes, l'm aware of that, but...
- Didn't U-EX wish they'd never got involved?

When l heard she'd been killed, l was.
God, l started wondering whether...

But on the life of my family,
l knew nothing about that.

Get me the memo.
L guarantee your e-mail won't be needed.

But if l were you,
l'd talk to the police before they talk to you.

- L-l'll drop you somewhere safe.
- L'm safe.

How much did you get?

Nearly all of it.

If you're going to change your mind,
do it before the affidavit's handed over.

L won't.

You never know, you know,
this could do you more good than harm.

Yeah. Anne worded it differently,
but... l'm not interested.

You wouldn't put yourself through this if you
didn't think it would make a difference.

- They crossed the line.
- Yeah, and at least you've got a line.

L think people knew that when we were
trying to get you into parliament.

You were a good campaign manager.

Anne was the one who thought
you were too young, which... is ironic now.

Well, it made my job ten times easier
knowing that people trusted you.

George used that word a lot.

Do you want to lay off that
until we've finished the notes?

When you were first appointed chairman,
who told you?

It couldn't be rigged. It was an all-party vote.

L think that was my first real nod
that l was being taken seriously all round.

- Just getting a laptop again.
- OK, Mr Siegler.

The biggest insult being that George was
my mentor. The one guy with a straight answer.

And he sits there telling me all this shit
like l should be proud of him!

He thought he was laying my fears to rest.
He thought it would make me feel better.

16 people working their arses off
all year round, for what?

Sonia meeting Paul Canning on a daily basis
down the Trocadero, telling him everything.

No scraps, no surprises! Everyone knows
everything - in the country's best interests (!)

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stephen! Stephen!

Come here. Lay off the booze. Lay off the
booze. Let's go and get some food down you.

- Come on, come on.
- L don't want food.

Well, you haven't slept since... I don't know.
Go and get some kip, then.

Come on.


Sonia meeting Paul Canning on a daily basis
down the Trocadero, telling him everything.

Can you let her know it's here?
Now - l need to know she's got it.


Della Smith, please. Yeah, an envelope
just arrived for you. From Mr?

- Siegler.
- Siegler.

Sonia meeting Paul Canning on a daily basis
down the Trocadero telling him everything.

No scraps, no surprisesl

Everyone knows everything and they're telling me
it's in the country's best interestl


Whoal Whoal Whoal
Stephenl Stephenl Come here.

Lay off the booze. Lay off the booze.

- Where's Della?
- Nipped downstairs.

We thought you were babysitting.

Can l help?


He'd gone when l got there.

- Who?
- Richard Siegler. He's given us this, look.

Can l have a word?

Is there anything in Foy's transcripts

that say where
Paul Canning used to meet Sonia?


We haven't been told that by anybody?

No. Why?


Stephen has just told me
they used to meet at the Trocadero.

As good a place as any.


If Stephen only knows what we've told him,

how does he know that?

The surveillance log in the hit man's briefcase.

That's the only place
the Trocadero was mentioned.


- Are you OK?
- Yeah.

Yeah, fine. We're just erm...

Fine, honestly.



- Thanks.
- Stephen let me in.

L brought him some clothes from the flat.
Said you didn't get in till late.

Do you want some breakfast?

Where is he?

You've no bread,
so he's gone down to the shop.

- You should be in Manchester.
- L thought l'd show a little bit of support.

You should... be in Manchester.

- Can we get over the big bumps before?
- What?


L'm not talking about "this".

But if "this" is you changing your mind about
Stephen because you feel sorry for him, don't.

He didn't start it.

He was screwing her.

He wouldn't have met her
had that lot not been manipulating things.

Five years ago,
you thought your marriage was dodgy.

Two years ago, you were certain.

Nine months back, he started having an affair.

Two months ago, he was moving in with her.

Now which bit of that
would a self-respecting woman want back?

You arrogant prick.

The week before she died,
she found out she was pregnant.


...that's how much you love me, eh?

Slinging a rock like that?

Thank you.

For your information,

l'm not here for him.

L'm here because he doesn't need me against
him right now. He is the father of my kids.

And for their sake l don't want to see him
in a bucket. Do you understand?

No, you don't. You couldn't.

Because if it doesn't directly benefit you,
you don't have the patience to listen.


Cal, if l'd known
Anne was going to do this, l'd have said...


Police are today exhuming the body
of black teenager Kelvin Stagg

after new evidence raised questions
about the original inquest.


Look, l can't really talk now. L'm in a cemetery.

(DELLA) l know. L'm at the wire.
They won't let me through.

Dominic Foy's given us written evidence
that could implicate the lobbyists for U-EX Oil

in the death of Sonia Baker.

- Saying what?
- It proves Foy knew more than he told you.

- So where is he now?
- His secretary said Spain, but he hasn't left.

L think you're going to need him.

Right, Chewy, Dominic Foy's trying to leave
the country. Find out what flight, and stop him.

That's not all you came here for, is it?

- The hit man that killed Sonia Baker.
- Robert Bingham?

Can l see his file?

- Which bit?
- Social background.


Dominic Foy. L'm arresting you on suspicion
of perverting the course of justice.

You do not have to say anything which later
may harm your defence when being questioned.

You two-faced bastards!

You couple of pieces of shit!

You pieces of shit!

This is...

Come on, Dominic. Save your breath
until we get you a speech therapist.

Robert Bingham's an electrician by trade.
He's got no connections with Manchester.

Nothing to tie him in to Stephen Collins.


Yeah, but way back. And Collins isn't.

Stephen Collins used to be a civilian contractor
to the Ministry of Defence.

He taught literacy to squaddies.

That's not on his parliamentary CV,
but l know that for a fact.

They were at Aldershot together
for 26 weeks in 1987.

Robert Bingham's educational history says...

he was "illiterate (dyslexic)".
They must have overlapped.

When Collins first moved to London
as a new MP, his flat was broken into.

The CCTV monitors
were installed by KBN Security Ltd.

The registered owner of that company
is Robert Bingham.

We need to talk to Cameron.

No, Della, please. Please.

Look, if l'm wrong about this,

everybody will just use that
as an excuse to stall the story.

The board, Yvonne Shaps,
they'll just dive on anything that can weaken it.

If you're right, people need warning
before we get the arse sued off us.

Della, not to Cameron, not to your copper.

If l'm right, then it still doesn't excuse
what U-EX has done

and it certainly doesn't excuse
what the government is up to, does it?

She's down there. L was just freshening up.

Get rid of her, Stephen. We need to talk.

Look, l didn't invite her, you know.
If she's here and we're talking, we should all talk.

Tell her what you need to. Get her out of here.

L'll be back in 15 minutes.


Granddad swims a lot better than l do.
You don't need me for a diving lesson.

Your dad's here. Want to have a word?

He'll ring you back
when he's just got a bit more time.

L'll ring you back, Karen.

L'll ring you back, sweetheart. Bye.

Have you blown Cal out?

- Is that what he says?
- It speaks for itself, you being here.

L just think it's a bit more complicated
than Cal wants it to be.

You'd take me back tomorrow, wouldn't you?

With changes, but they'd be minimal.

L'm just trying to be...

...more civilised than my gut says.

L mean, we've got two kids who need someone
to say, "It'll be fine. Everything will be OK."

Let's just try to find a way through this
that doesn't screw up our entire family.

- Cal's a really good option for you.
- L beg your pardon?

L can't make any more changes for anybody.

If you were happy to even consider me,
l'd do you and the kids the favour of saying no.

You and him are looking at me
like somebody without a bloody map.

Is that what you think?

Good. 'Cause for every time you've pumped
yourself up into something that you're not,

l've had the benefit of knowing
exactly where l don't want to be.

No wonder you and Cal ended up glued
to each other. You're like peas in a fucking pod!




Where are you going?

Talk to me.

Sonia hinted twice before
that l might not like her flipside.

L assumed she was referring to self-esteem.
She wasn't always so confident.

One Monday morning l was feeling a bit rough.

L'd taken the day off work. Food poisoning.

It was only the second time
l'd stayed at her place.

She'd gone into work. L was half-asleep,
half-awake when the phone went.

Bloke's voice.

"Sonia, can we bring tomorrow forward to 1.30?
L have a meeting at three."

That's all. No name. Rings off.

But l knew his name
because l talked to him on a weekly basis.

Paul Canning.

Main lobbyist for U-EX Oil.

- L played it back about 15 times, trying to...
- Yeah. Robert Bingham, Stephen.

L met him again when he fitted my alarm.

He used to be this chubby little squaddie
and he'd lost loads of weight and l didn't...

He recognised me.

He'd done the security for...

He said Arabs, but that was laughable.

He'd left one of his business cards.

L wanted to know what damage she'd done me.
L couldn't ask the Security Services, could I?

Come on. This was the biggest year in my life.

Bingham did that thing. His ex-teacher,
made it to the Commons, needed looking after.

He loved it. He took it on personally.

- Wow. What a mate (!)
- He wasn't a mate. He just wanted to be.

L wasn't that optimistic, but he surprised me.

He went everywhere, he got everything.
He had her diary covered, her phone covered.

- He had her laptop cloned.
- He'd been in her flat?


Keys from you.

If l went up before Parliamentary Standards,
l needed every detail.

Who did you contact
in Parliamentary Standards?

- Well, nobody by then. We...
- Liar!

- L couldn't go to them...
- You're a liar!

If you'd intended to go to the Standards
Committee, you'd have confronted Sonia first.

And we know,
through Dominic Foy, that you didn't.

If she had coughed,
you'd have had nowhere to go but down!

The night before she was murdered,
you slept with her.


- It wasn't my idea.
- What?


Which bit, Stephen? Killing her?

Oh, that was Bingham's solution, was it?

- L freaked out. L told him to shut his mouth.
- Was he listening?

He wasn't, was he?

So what did you do, then?
Fire him? Go to the police?

- L told him no.
- Oh, you told him no.

Well, big fucking deal!
You still carried on paying him, didn't you?

L loved Sonia! You go saying l didn't
and l've got nothing left!

L was prepared to turn my family inside out!

For Christ's sake,
she's turning in her bloody grave here!

Along with all the other poor sods
Bingham's murdered!

Sonia Baker stood up to U-EX Oil.

She scared the shit out of them. She had guts.

She would have blown it wide open because
she loved you enough to take the flak!

She was trying to protect you
because she'd found out she was pregnant.

L only realised that yesterday!

She felt like the best thing that ever happened
to me, but all the proof said the opposite.

So, what, he said he was
going to make it look like an accident, did he?

L told him no.

You saw more of her the week she died.
You knew something was gonna happen.

He'd stopped making contact.

Which is how you knew.

Tell me this, 'cause l won't get it.

What did you think
you could ever have achieved,

however high you went,

that was worth demolishing all those families?

You're no good to Anne any more.

This is going on the front page with your name.

When you've had your own, you'll realise.


They shoot the messenger.

They just do.

You wouldn't stand a chance!

And you'd better think about that!

George Fergus has issued a "no comment", but
l've had half a dozen calls for private briefings.

Let's stick to on the record.

Wilson's offering an exclusive on a reshuffle.

That's about as exclusive as a Selfridges
open day. The "Telegraph" got the same call.

Is that McCaffrey?

Where's Collins?

Well, did he come in with you?

Is he coming in with you? Hello?

(DELLA) Cal...

Yes or no? Just tell me.

On tape?

Yes or no?

- It wasn't my idea.
- What?


Which bit, Stephen? Killing her?

Use that. Hang on.

- F*ire him? Go to the police?
- l told him no.

Oh, you told him no. Well, big fucking deall

You still carried on paying him, thoughl

l loved Sonial You go saying l didn't
and l've got nothing leftl

l was prepared to turn my family
inside out for herl

Christl She's turning in her bloody grave herel

Along with all the other poor sods
that Bingham's murderedl


Tell reception!

L'm sorry, but you're going to have
to read that in tomorrow's paper, all right?

That's it.