Page last updated at 22:03 GMT, Monday, 3 December 2012

Parliament 'should have final say on press law'

Parliament, and not the government, should have the final say on whether any new regulatory regime of the press needed to be backed in law, Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has said.

As MPs debated Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry and report on regulation of the press on 3 December 2012, Mr Goldsmith said the ideas for reform promoted by Press Complaints Commission (PCC) chairman Lord Hunt, which rely on legally enforceable contracts to bind publishers into compliance, had already been "widely discredited".

The industry must "develop a proper plan" for creating a new regulator for the press, he said.

"Parliament should then be invited to decide in a free vote - in my view, it must be a free vote - whether the plan goes far enough," he added.

"If we decide it does not, we would commit ourselves to creating a new PCC backed up by statute."

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he has "serious concerns and misgivings" over Lord Justice Leveson's proposal that a new regulator should have statutory backing.

Labour MP Chris Bryant said there was widespread agreement that the new regulator should have the power to investigate wrong-doing in the press, enforce redress, and ensure that corrections are published with the same prominence as the articles that caused them.

But he added: "I don't see how it can enjoy any of those powers unless it actually has power granted to it in statute."

The Conservative frontbench is at odds with its coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, and Labour over how Lord Justice Leveson's findings should be implemented.

Lord Justice Leveson's 2,000-page report follows an inquiry that began in November 2011 and heard from over 200 witnesses.

To view part one of the debate click here .

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