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

Right, this is, I guess, the third element of it. I have to confess in the recent weeks I was coming around to the idea that what could happen at the end of this Inquiry would be that Lord Justice Leveson, you would outline a new framework for regulation and it would be recognised in an Act of Parliament, and the more I thought about that, the more uncomfortable I was with it, and it's for this reason: instead of looking back at what's happened in terms of phone hacking over the recent years, if you look forward ten years' time, and a Leveson Act was in place, my concern is that you would be a journalist walking down Downing Street or walking into the Commons and be aware that if you were potentially too critical or possibly if you sought to curry favour, that could play out in terms of politicians using the Leveson Act and using -- making an easy amendment to the Leveson Act to take that out on you.

So I know there is -- some people take the view: well, actually, if the press behaved very badly in ten years' time, Parliament could anyway legislate against you. But I think that the creation of a -- I call it a Leveson Act -- would give a mechanism to politicians to loom over future coverage, to respond to the bad press they're getting by making an easy amendment to that legislation and that would have a chilling effect on press freedom.

So I end up in a very, very strong position, which is: I would not like to see any form of statutory regulation of the press.

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