Prime Minister David Cameron this morning said he thought current privacy rules were ‘unfair’on the press.
Speaking on ITV’s Daybreak, Cameron also reiterated his fear that judges were ‘effectively writing a new law’and suggested reviewing the role of the Press Complaints Commission.
The news comes after the Sunday Herald yesterday became the first UK newspaper to name the footballer at the centre of the latest privacy injunction row yesterday, and the number of Twitter messages relating to the star was said to have topped 50,000.
‘It is rather unsustainable, this situation, where newspapers can’t print something that clearly everybody else is talking about, but there’s a difficulty here because the law is the law and the judges must interpret what the law is,’said Cameron
‘What I’ve said in the past is, the danger is that judgments are effectively writing a new law which is what Parliament is meant to do.
“So I think the Government, Parliament, has got to take some time out, have a proper look at this, have a think about what we can do, but I’m not sure there is going to be a simple answer.”
Commenting on the role of the PCC, Cameron added: ‘It’s not fair on the newspapers if all the social media can report this and the newspapers can’t, so the law and the practice has got to catch up with how people consume media today.
“But I don’t think there is an easy answer on this. Perhaps the way through is to look again at the Press Complaints Commission, the work it does. If people can have more confidence in that then we could have less of this current approach.
“But we are going to have to take some time out to really have a think about this.”
Last week Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said that Parliament could pass a Privacy Act aimed at providing clarity to judges over gagging orders.
Talking about privacy injunctions he told the Commons: “We will consider these matters and indeed it is probably right to say that Parliament passing a Privacy Act might well be the best way of resolving it.
“But I think we need to get somewhat nearer to a consensus and one needs to know exactly how you’re trying to strike this balance before something is submitted to the judgment of Parliament.
“It may well be that we don’t have to wait for a long controversial process like that, we can find some other way of tackling it. We are considering this issue and we’ll come back in due course.”
But Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt later told a conference that the Government was not “minded” to introduce a new privacy law.
He said: “I don’t believe a privacy law is the way forward, we are not minded to have a new privacy law but we are not ruling out the need for legislative changes.”