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

I think in some sense, like many things in politics, it's just -- there are many mechanisms, but it's also just an issue of attitude. An outlook. I'm lucky enough to lead a party that's never been in anyone's pocket. We pride ourselves on being sceptical about vested interests, not just in the press, but as I said before, whether it was trade unions, bankers. There's a sort of liberal philosophy that says that politics is at its best when it represents the country as a whole and doesn't seek to represent partial interests.

I don't want to over-romanticise this because I hope I've been open and candid about the fact that we've perhaps also been partly unencumbered by being in anyone's pockets because I'm not sure if there were any vested interests in the press who wanted us in their pockets in the first place, so it's not just borne of virtue, but that is important.

I think the fact that if you combine that with the fact that the media is changing as fast as it is, the way people are accessing their information is so diverse and diffuse, increasingly as I said newspapers are -- they're hugely important, they set the agenda in many respects, but many particularly younger people get their information through a diversity of source, I just think this is a good opportunity for politicians to get off their knees. They don't need to constantly pander to every passing whim, prejudice or campaign got up by the press. It's great the press do that. We should celebrate that, we should protect it. But it's really at the end of the day for politicians to stand up for themselves and say: look, we have a democratic mandate, we've gone out to get elected, we listen to our constituents in our surgeries every Thursday, Friday, Saturday. The editors, the proprietors don't do that. We get out and about in the country much more, by the way, than many of the journalists who constantly pronounce on the state of the country.

I just think a bit of -- an assertion of the legitimacy of politicians to make decisions in their own right, unfettered, unintimidated, unpressured, would probably go further than almost anything else in making sure the balance is correctly set.

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