Boris Johnson warns against 'sterilising, pasteurising and homogenising' Britain's media

The Mayor of London compared tighter regulation unfavourably with the trends in developing nations, where journalists are getting more freedom

James Legge
Sunday 25 November 2012 20:01
Comments
Boris Johnson has warned against more press regulation, ahead of the Leveson Report on Thursday
Boris Johnson has warned against more press regulation, ahead of the Leveson Report on Thursday

Boris Johnson has added his voice to the arguments against tougher press regulation ahead of the publication of the Leveson Report, warning against “sterilising, pasteurising and homogenising” Britain's media.

The Mayor of London compared tighter regulation unfavourably with the trends in developing nations, where journalists are getting more freedom.

The Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press will report its findings on Thursday, having heard evidence since September last year.

Speaking in India to BBC Radio 5 Live, Mr Johnson said: "I am a bit nervous we are heading in the opposite direction to many other countries in the world which are liberating their press and allowing free speech.

"I can tell you that compared with most other jurisdictions in the world, we have a political system that is largely free of financial corruption and bribery.

"I think it is very largely because we have a pretty uninhibited, vociferous and exuberant media that gets on and turns over all sorts of flat rocks.

"If you go around sterilising, pasteurising and homogenising the media you will have a bad effect on our democracy."

The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, today remained reticent on the subject, telling the BBC's Andrew Marr Show this morning: "Although I'm a big supporter of the freedom of the press, I'm also a big supporter of actually reading something before you pronounce on it."

"We will have to do that, but in my case, from the philosophical viewpoint that you have to err on the side of freedom."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in