David Cameron says an independent system is needed to fix Britain's "broken" method of press regulation.
The Prime Minister told the Leveson Inquiry that the relationship between the press and politicians had been too close for 20 years. He admitted that it was difficult for governments to reform the system because they had a vested interest.
We need to try to find a way for some independence to be brought to that. I think the regulatory system we have at the moment doesn't work. We need to draw some boundaries but it is very difficult to do. If you take the expenses scandal, it was deeply painful for politicians but it was absolutely right that it was revealed... In the last 20 years, I think the relationship has not been right. I think it has been too close and I think we need to get it on a better footing.
The Prime Minister also described how he fights a "permanent battle of issues" because of the 24-hour news cycle:
– David Cameron
Campaigns newspapers and television run, some are important and powerful... some are very reflective of the readers and what the Editor cares about... The politician has to judge if this is an issue which needs to be answered or something I'm prepared to have a disagreement about... It's not a trusting relationship at the moment. I think a lot of politicians think the press always get it wrong... a lot of the press think politicians are in it for themselves... it's become a bad relationship.
The Prime Minister added:
Television is extremely powerful and important, so it must not be left out of the mix.
Mr Cameron said the relationship with the press was "not particularly trusting" at the moment. He said:
I think a lot of politicians think the press always get it wrong. A lot of the press think politicians are in it for themselves - are not in it for the right reasons. It's become a bad relationship. The expenses scandal was a massive knock to Parliament and politicians' standing and politicians have to prove they are worthy of respect.