The Guardian editor discussed possible new regulation models with the Inquiry. He explained how he had resigned from the PCC editors' code committee after the regulator released its flawed report on phone hacking in November 2009, which he said "so undermined the principle of self-regulation".
He said he "wouldn't be against the use of statute" if a regulator could enforce its powers to deal with libel complaints but added that The Guardian would "utterly reject anything that looks like state licensing and we reject anything that looks like politicians or the state having any kind of say in the content of newspapers".
Rusbridger also expressed his disappointment at new rules that require senior politicians to log any meetings they have with newspaper editors.
"If you make it too rigorous, that you have to note every single meeting, then I think that militates against the flow of information between politicians and the press," he told the Inquiry.
Noting previous Guardian editors who had much closer relationships with the prime ministers of their time, he said: "Lloyd George used to run his cabinet changes past CP Scott before he did them, so I don't think this is a new problem."
On The Guardian getting it wrong about the Milly Dowler deletions, Rusbridger said: "I think there are people who are trying to elevate this into a primary issue now who didn't think it was at the time, and I don't think anybody thinks that – well, I think when you track back the reasons that were given for the closure of News of the World at the time, they certainly weren't that."