Select Committee on Communications Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1560 - 1562)


Ms Rebekah Wade

  Q1560  Chairman: Might it have something to do with the rules of the PCC? Would you be in favour of a law on privacy?

  Ms Wade: Why can it not be the fact as I said, that in fact we do have very high standards, we do adhere to the PCC Code and actually we have only had three complaints. I know it is not what you want to hear, but unfortunately it is true.

  Q1561  Chairman: No, we have no view on what we want to hear; it is for you to put the evidence. The question I was asking was: would you support a law on privacy? If the position is as you state, then presumably you have got nothing much to fear from that.

  Ms Wade: I think that that is a very, very complex and detailed question and, if you have got another hour to debate a law of privacy, then I am very happy to do that. The fact is that freedom of the press is absolutely at the heart of what I believe and every single journalist believes and a privacy law would prevent the freedom of the press, but, as you know, it is a very complex issue, made even more complex by the introduction of the Human Rights Act and the Human Convention on Human Rights, so we can have the debate, but it is already 11.35.

  Q1562  Chairman: And you think it is coming to an end and you are right, it is. Thank you very, very much indeed for coming. We have taken you over the allotted time, but thank you very much for your evidence and perhaps, if we have any other issues, we could write to you. You have given one or two commitments to give us some more information, but perhaps, if we have anything else, we could write to you on that.

  Ms Wade: Absolutely.

  Chairman: Thank you very much.

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