PM warns over press intervention

Lord Justice Leveson is conducting a review of media ethics

Lord Justice Leveson is conducting a review of media ethics

First published in National News © by

David Cameron says he does not want "heavy-handed state intervention" in the activities of the press, as a result of the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics.

The Prime Minister resisted pressure to commit himself in advance to implementing the recommendations of Lord Justice Leveson's upcoming report.

The Hacked Off campaign has sent an open letter to Mr Cameron voicing concern over reports suggesting he was preparing to reject statutory regulation of the press, even if it was strongly recommended by the report, due within the next few weeks.

Mr Cameron said that the existing system for regulating the press is "not acceptable" and he hoped Leveson would put forward a "sensible" new regime.

But he insisted that he would wait to see what the report contained before deciding what action to take.

Asked today whether he would stick to his reported promise to implement Leveson's recommendations, providing they were not "bonkers", Mr Cameron told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "Absolutely."

But he added: "We must wait for what Lord Justice Leveson says. I don't want to try to prejudge it... We have got to wait until he produces his report."

Mr Cameron said: "We don't want heavy-handed state intervention. We have got to have a free press. They have got to be free to uncover wrongdoing, to follow the evidence, to do the job in our democracy that they need to do.

"But on the other hand, it is quite clear people have been abused, people's families and lives have been torn up by press intrusion. The status quo is not an option. Let's let him do his work.

"I fully intend and - I think this goes right across the parties - we all want to put in place a sensible regulatory system. We are hoping Lord Justice Leveson is going to crack this problem for us. But we must let him do his work first."

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