PM: Better media regulation needed

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The Independent Online

David Cameron today said that the relationship between politicians and the media needs "resetting" as he admitted having spent too much time trying to win the support of newspapers and broadcasters.

Giving evidence to the House of Commons liaison committee, Mr Cameron said the Leveson Inquiry into phone-hacking would provide an opportunity to rethink press regulation and prevent a repeat of what he said were "bad cases of abuse by the media".

Challenged over whether he personally allowed himself to get too close to media proprietors and editors, Mr Cameron replied: "Yes."

But he stressed that his contacts were not only with Rupert Murdoch's News International, but with a wide range of media organisations.

Official figures released in July showed that Mr Cameron met Mr Murdoch and executives of his companies - which publish The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times and part-own BSkyB - 26 times in his first 15 months at 10 Downing Street.

Mr Cameron told the committee: "The relationship between politicians and media needs resetting and I think there is an opportunity in this Parliament to do that.

"I think there is a need for better and more appropriate media regulation, partly because of the abuses that have taken place."

Mr Cameron said relations between politicians and the media had "got too close, in that politicians were spending a lot of time trying to get their message across but issues of regulation were left on the back burner".