Must admit I am not greatly impressed that dozens of my Conservative colleague MPs are leading a public campaign for some form of statutory press regulation. So far its just a letter which has been well covered on ConservativeHome. It seems that there are 42 names appended to some letter, which has clearly been made public - taking a view on this issue before Lord Leveson has reported. This demand for statutory regulation is backed by words of comfort, such as a free free being needed for a free society. Hmmmm. Not convinced.
It may well be that I will eventually sign up to this opinion (in spirit if not in writing) but I want to know what Leveson says first. What on earth is the point of setting up such a high profile and costly inquiry - and then drawing conclusions before its reported. And I'll want to know what Lord David Hunt makes of it before I commit myself. Now I know a bit more about what a press intent of shredding a reputation can do than most. I've taken a fair bit of stick myself over the years - some of which I considered to be outrageously unfair. It upset me a lot at the time. But I always felt it was a price I had to pay as a leading figure in public life. Even though I just took it on the chin at the time, I'd say that most Welsh people didn't believe it. Its just the way it is. I've suffered a lot of very generous unwarranted coverage as well. The swings and roundabouts of public life.
We do not yet know what Lord Leveson is going to recommend - probably some sort of regulation more independent of the press than now. Don't think it can be unfettered self-regulation. After Leveson reports, we will have to look seriously at this. But I will take a lot of persuading that statutory regulation is the right way to go.