Transcript of David Cameron's speech to the House of Commons:
I have some serious concerns and misgivings on this recommendation. They breakdown into issues of principle, practicality and necessity.
The issue of principle is that for the first time we would have crossed the Rubicon of writing elements of press regulation into the law of the land. We should, I believe, be wary of any legislation which that has the potential to infringe free speech and a free press. In this house which has been a bulwark of democracy for centuries we should think very, very carefully before crossing this line.
On the grounds of practicality, no matter how simple the intention of the new law the legislation required to underpin the new statutory body would, I believe, become more complicated….
I’m not convinced at this stage that statute is necessary to achieve Lord Leveson’s objectives. I believe there may be alternative options for putting in place incentives, providing reassuring the public, and ensuring the Leveson principles of regulation are put in place and these options should be explored. Mr Speaker, these questions including those about data protection are fundamental questions we must resolve. I’ve asked Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the Leader of the Opposition to join me in cross party talks starting immediately after this statement. But let me be clear a regulatory system that complies with the Leveson principles should be put in place rapidly. I favour giving the press a limited period of time in which to do this. They do not need to wait for all other elements of Lord Justice Leveson’s report to be implemented.