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

I think we must be very sensitive to that. If we were to in any way directly see a chilling effect on the freedom of the press we would be losing something very, very precious. However unruly or raucous it is, it's what makes us a free, democratic, plural society.

I think the -- I think frankly some of the claims that -- you know, I've heard some people not quite, but almost claim that somehow the existence of this Inquiry is in and of itself intimidating journalists. I think that's just preposterous. The idea that this Inquiry itself somehow stops journalists from doing their business, there's absolutely no evidence.

I think there's been a slight sort of mawkish quality to some of the more sort of breathless predictions that somehow the press is under the cosh. As I say, in order to absolutely provide total 100 per cent reassurance that nothing in the new environment should infringe on this great liberal virtue of freedom of the press, I think we not only have to introduce the regulatory reforms as I've described in a sensitive and intelligent manner, where any statutory role is very much in the background as a backstop, but equally I think we can go further than that, as I say, through maybe clarifying and enshrining the public interest test for journalists and enshrining in a quasi constitutional manner the freedom of the press, we can give more protections. I think they can go in parallel.

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