DAVID Cameron admitted today that the relationship between the press and politicians had been too close for 20 years.
And the Prime Minister suggested an independent system is needed to fix Britain’s broken method of press regulation.
Giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry today, he said it was difficult for governments to reform the system because they had a vested interest.
“We need to try to find a way for some independence to be brought to that,” he said.
“I think the regulatory system we have at the moment doesn’t work.
“We need to draw some boundaries but it is very difficult to do.”
He added: “In the last 20 years, I think the relationship has not been right. I think it has been too close and I think we need to get it on a better footing.”
Mr Cameron said the relationship with the press was “not particularly trusting at the moment”.
“I think a lot of politicians think the press always get it wrong,” he said. “A lot of the press think politicians are in it for themselves – are not in it for the right reasons.
“It’s become a bad relationship.”
Before entering No 10 the Conservative leader had 10 meetings with Rupert Murdoch and 15 with James Murdoch.
He met Rebekah Brooks 19 times, although that number did not necessarily include social engagements, Mr Cameron said.
The Prime Minister was asked about meetings with members of the Murdoch family, which owns The Sun newspaper.
He told how James Murdoch promised The Sun’s support for the Conservatives at a meeting in September 2009 – prior to the May 2010 General Election, after which Mr Cameron became Prime Minister.
“It was a drink and a catch up,” Mr Cameron told the inquiry. “He wanted to tell me The Sun was going to support the Conservatives. I was obviously pleased.”
At yesterday’s Leveson hearing Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond claimed his bank account details were accessed by The Observer newspaper.
A spokesman for Guardian News & Media, which publishes The Observer, said: “Mr Salmond first raised the matter of an alleged unauthorised access of his bank account with the Observer’s editor last year.
“The allegation was that a journalist working for the Observer had accessed his bank details in 1999.
“As we explained to him last year, on the basis of the information he had given us, we have been unable to find any evidence to substantiate his allegation.
“As our response to him at the time made clear, we take this allegation very seriously and if he is able to provide us with any more information we will investigate further.”