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

Well ... [break in transmission] said, what is the alternative? Keep the government out of it. Let's have a body of respectable and good people and a superstructure behind them, as you say, to set it up, with clear parameters written about what should concern them, what the principles are. One principle obviously should be transparency. Everything should be open.

At the moment, we don't -- we have a Press Commission, Press Council, which has shown itself in the hacking case, with all the best will in the world, to have no investigative powers, you know, not even able to frighten a goose, and I rather feel that's one of the great blotches on the history of press control in this country, press invigilation, that that particular thing, the Guardian being rebuked for doing an investigative piece was a disgrace. The Guardian was doing a tremendous public service.

So we have to get away from a Press Council which can sort of preach without knowing all the facts. We have to have an investigative power, and do I think that does need some legal sanction behind it.

The press at the moment, and rightly so, has no power -- we can't summon anybody to a subpoena, we can't force anybody to answer questions, we can only ask them, but I think a supervisory body does need some kind of extra muscle of that kind.

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