Boris Johnson derides Parliament press regulation plan as 'monstrous folly' and 'completely pointless' - Press Gazette

Boris Johnson derides Parliament press regulation plan as 'monstrous folly' and 'completely pointless'

Boris Johnson has called on newspapers to shun the Government's proposed Royal Charter on press regulation.
The Mayor of London, who writes a regular column for then Daily Telegraph and is a former editor of The Spectator, said accepting the "monstrous folly" of a charter drawn up by politicians would erode the freedom of the press.
He also described any new measures of regulation as "absolutely pointless", adding that it was "political embarrassments" in the press that triggered the Leveson inquiry into media standards, on which the new charter is based.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph he said: "We are on the verge of eroding the freedom of the press.
"We are undermining the work of everyone from John  Milton to John Wilkes – men who fought for the right to say and publish things of which politicians disapproved.
"The last and most powerful point against any new regulation of papers is that it is so completely pointless. We live in a world in which vast quantities of news can be instantly disseminated across the internet, and by companies way beyond any conceivable reach of Parliament or Government."
Johnson said it was "inevitable" that a vigorous media would cause "occasional heartache and dish out the odd uncalled-for insult".
But he said: "It strikes me that Ed Miliband was well within his rights to stick up for his father, for instance. But you can't regulate the press just because they are insulting, or subversive, or find stories in tainted sources."
The Privy Council last week rejected a Royal Charter put forward by the media, at the end of the month it looks set to rafify a rival Royal Charter on press regulation which has the backing of the three main political parties.
Johnson said: "Who are the Privy Council, for goodness' sake? They are just a bunch of politicians, a glorified version of the government of the day.
"If you are bothered by those nasty people from the media, and they won't go away, and they continue to sit outside your house asking questions to which you have already told them the answer, may I recommend that you do as my children and I once did years ago.
"We imitated Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop, and we stuffed bananas secretly up the reporter's tailpipe, and I remember us laughing helplessly at her air of puzzlement as she kaboing-ed up the road.
"Far better than regulation."



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