David Cameron has just told MPs that while he accepts Lord Leveson’s recommendations for a new independent press regulator, he rejects statutory underpinning of the new regulatory system.
The Prime Minister said: ‘I accept these principles… The onus should now be on the press.’
He said he was in favour of giving the press a period of time to implement the recommendations. But to roars of disapproval from MPs on the other side of the Chamber, he said: ‘I am not convinced… that statute is necessary.’
He also told MPs that he accepted Leveson’s recommendations on the relationship between the police and the press. The Prime Minister also took care to praise Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who was cleared of wrongdoing by the Inquiry. The Prime Minister said Hunt had acted with ‘deep dignity’.
Ed Miliband’s response set the frame for the cross-party talks on Leveson, telling the Prime Minister:
‘Let me say to him: these talks must be about implementing these recommendations, not whether we implement it.’