Lord Leveson: The state cannot licence journalists

Leveson responds to Chris Blackhurst's warning that a new regulator might have the power to ban jour

Lord Justice Leveson has said that he is against state controls on journalism and that he is keen that any new regulator remains "independent".

Responding to a suggestion from Independent editor Christ Blackhurst that any new journalism industry regulator might have the power to ban journalists from practising, Leveson said: "The state can say who is entitled to practice as a doctor, lawyer...or whatever...but it's a fundamental of freedom of expression that what you are doing when you are writing something down is you are doing no more than exercising your right to freedom of speech."

Blackhurst said he was very worried that as a result of the recommendations made by Leveson "our ability as an industry to investigate will be curtailed".

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