The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Oh, the PCC? I think that what the Colcutt committee concluded back in 1991 or 1992 that there should be -- a statutory body should be put in place. I think the politicians who were responsible for not accepting Colcutt's representation recommendations were politicians who were, frankly, frightened of the press. I think what's happened in recent months has shown that politicians need not be frightened of the press, and the fact that Parliament has been able to pull in the Murdochs and question them shows that these people are not invincible, and therefore I think there's a much stronger appetite for putting some kind of statutory body in control of the press, but at the time, of course, the press were all throwing their hands up saying, "You cannot possibly gag us", but at the same time nobody was suggesting that the defence of public interest should be removed, and as long as that defence is there, I don't see that there's any problem in saying to the press, "You cannot transgress this far into a person's private life unless you are uncovering a crime or deep corruption", and I think that's a perfectly sensible position to take, and -- but the press always complain very, very strongly at anything that suggests that they might be in any way hampered in doing what they consider their job, or in the case of the tabloid press, putting out stories that are of no public interest whatsoever but do regrettably sell newspapers.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech