The Human Rights Act would be reformed or repealed under a Conservative Government.
And Tory leader Michael Howard also told the Society of Editors conference: “I support your right to regulate yourselves – it’s a crucial part of press freedom.”
The Conservative leader used his speech to unveil plans to reform education policy.
During questions he suggested he would like to get involved in public meetings organised by regional newspapers in the run-up to the next election.
He said: “ewspapers, probably in consultation with local broadcasting outlets, might be able to organise meetings in their area. If that were possible it’s something I’d be very interested in talking to you about”
Reports by Dominic Ponsford and Ian Reeves