Sir Christopher Meyer leaving the Leveson Inquiry. Photo: Getty Images
Former Press Complaints Commission chairman Sir Christopher Meyer has urged Lord Justice Leveson to strengthen rather than abolish the current system of self regulation.
And he has insisted that despite the many criticisms which have been made of the PCC and its handling of the hacking scandal - “the hybrid system of press regulation dealt with the affair exactly as it was meant to do”.
Recalling his time as press secretary for John Major, Meyer warned against any move towards statutory regulation of the press.
Delivering the annual lecture at the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspapermakers he said: “Any government, even one in terminal decay like John Major’s in the mid-90s, had a significant in-built advantage over the press through its control of the public flow of official information.
“This advantage has not been eliminated by the Freedom of Information Act. It was not, therefore, difficult to move to the conclusion that any state regulation of the press was in principle offensive and that a free press was fundamental to a healthy democracy.”