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

A proper balance, which you're going to have to address yourself to anyway. I think we will be quite happy -- you see, I hear the arguments going on about the PCC at the moment, press complaints people as if somehow it's about statutory. I don't want to see a statutory control of the press. I have as much reason as anyone to have a go at the press. But basically what we need is a regulated framework, not for the politicians to decide -- and you might have to find where that balance is. And I think from what you said before, there's an awful lot of common sense. It must be common sense that applies.

But if they go beyond what the definition of "public interest" -- I do believe it's a judge that should make that judgment and the judges have been attacked by Dacre and the Mail simply because they exercise the function we've given them in Parliament, and then attack them as a judiciary for defining what the public interest is, and I'll leave out the human rights argument, but just public interest.

So you have to find a balance that people think is fair. It's not fair at the moment and it doesn't apply to every paper in the press complaints thing. See, you've got to find a framework -- they either come in because they're willing -- and there's got to be a form of sanctions if you get it wrong. Why should I have to decide -- or ordinary citizens have to decide -- that the only way I can get the truth out is to sue the press? They're quite contemptuous of you. What's made the difference now is no win, no cost. I mean, in that sense, people can do that and it's causing alarm now and the expenditure through that in the legal aid framework. Now, I just think if you can't get redress -- and I know people have given evidence here and I might even take the opportunity you offered us this morning to put some of my own ideas into what it could be, but you have to have a sanction.

Let me give you an example. If you look at the business secretary --

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