17 January & 7 February
At his first appearance before the enquiry the editor of The Times said his paper had concerns about paying for stolen good when it turned down the MPs' expenses story, eventually published by the Daily Telegraph, but that with hindsight he felt there was public interest in the story.
He also defended The Times's coverage of the phone-hacking scandal at fellow News International title News of the World, but said he wished his paper "had got on the story harder, earlier".
Echoing Sun editor Dominic Mohan's testimony earlier in the month, Harding said Rupert Murdoch had no influence over editorial decisions and said contact between himself and the proprietor was sporadic. Harding was called back to the Inquiry on February 7 to clarify how much he and senior NI executives knew about the hacking of emails to expose the identity of an anonymous police blogger, something which had only been alluded to in the earlier hearing.
In a series of embarrassing admissions, Harding told the Inquiry he had no idea that his paper had fought an injunction preventing the identification of the award-winning Nightjack blogger as Lancashire Police's Detective Constable Richard Horton in 2009, or that Times graduate trainee Patrick Forster had gained unauthorised access to emails to ascertain the information until 10 days earlier.
Harding said he had been preoccupied with other news stories when he was sent an email that showed two of his most senior staff knew about the email hacking in May 2009.
He said he "sorely" regretted the intrusion and expected "better of The Times".