When I suggested at a DCMS Select committee press session in 2004 that newspapers should have a yellow card and red card scheme if they misbehaved (the red card meant that they would not be allowed to be published the next day) I was given the roughest ride by journos present especially those from the Daily Mirror (Editor: Piers Morgan). Indeed, immediately after the session closed Mirror journos were dispatched to my constituency and the village I lived in. They tried to find as much gossip as they could. Friends in the village rang me to tell me they'd be snooping. The next day the Mirror ran a piece about "This Man Would Stop You reading your newspaper" and other such nonsense.
A free press? A free press has to be regulated and it was good to see the editors of the FT and the Daily Telegraph agreeing on this issue at the Leveson Inquiry yesterday.