Jack Straw

Straw commented on 'a degree of voyeurism about the British press'

Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

External regulation of the press has become necessary, because the current self-regulatory system is an "absurd situation", former justice secretary Jack Straw told the Leveson inquiry today.

Straw said he did not believe that editors could be placed in a position where they are adjudicating on each other - a system that he said "seems to defy all known principles of justice".

He told the inquiry: "My view is you have to have some form of external regulation of the press.

"You can't go on with the press claiming that every other institution in the land needs external regulation, but they then say the press ought to be able to regulate itself when palpably it has failed.

"I think it would be good for the press because most journalists want much higher standards."

Straw said there was "a degree of voyeurism about the British press" and that the press needed to be more examining of its work.

He added: "Some people have portrayed self-regulation v external regulation as the four legs good, two legs bad dichotomy and implied that at the moment there is no external regulation at the moment. There is."

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