Mark Bolland ran the Press Complaints Commission from 1992 to 1996. He has some damning views on Leveson, that celebrity led witch hunt backed by the BBC:
Politicians destroyed the PCC to take revenge on the media, says the man who helped to create it
Today we are all supposed to be “Leveson compliant”. I am not sure why, when large chunks of what The Economist rightly condemned as a “shoddy” report following a dodgy inquiry have been torn apart or discredited – but let me ensure I am suitably transparent, with a declaration of interest. I was the first director of the Press Complaints Commission, appointed by its first chairman, the Liberal Democrat peer Lord McGregor. My partner, Guy Black, was its second director and is now chairman of its funding body. So every reader will know where I am coming from.
What began with the Calcutt inquiry ended with the monstrosity of the Leveson inquiry. I have no doubt that its proposal – swiftly and rightly rejected by the Prime Minister – to introduce press controls underpinned by statute was pre-determined from day one. That was why assessors like Sir David Bell who, as chairman of the Media Standards Trust, had conducted a long campaign against the popular press, were chosen to sit alongside Leveson. That is why he packed the first few months of his show trial with the so-called “victims” – a celebrity circus in which bile against the media was assiduously reported by the BBC and others day in day out.
It was a fix from the very start, and it certainly didn’t need £6 million of our money.