Leveson Inquiry: Summary of week seven

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Media captionFormer Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie said the tabloid did ''not really'' have a regard for privacy

Past and present Fleet Street figures have launched defences of the the UK's national newspaper industry during the seventh week of the Leveson Inquiry.

Former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie told the inquiry his "bullish" approach to journalism was justified.

Mr MacKenzie said he had taken the view during his 1981 to 1994 editorship that most things "should be published".

Asked by counsel to the inquiry Robert Jay QC whether he had any regard for privacy while editor, Mr MacKenzie said: "Not really, no."

He said his view had generally been that "most things, as far as I could see, should be published".

Mr MacKenzie said later editors had become more cautious "in a changing world".

The inquiry's focus this week has been on newspaper editors and executives.

The Sun's current editor, Dominic Mohan, who took over the top job at the tabloid in 2009, also gave evidence to the inquiry.

He told the inquiry it was "important to emphasise the positive as well as the negative", and said the Sun could be a real force for good.

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Media captionDominic Mohan has been editor of the Sun 2009

Meanwhile, Richard Desmond, who owns the Daily Express and Daily Star, criticised the Press Complaints Commission, describing it as a "useless organisation".

Mr Desmond said the PCC "vilified" the Express over its treatment of the Madeleine McCann story.

In his evidence, Mr Desmond said all newspapers had written about the McCanns in more or less the same way, yet he claimed Sir Christopher Meyer, ex-chairman of the PCC, had targeted the Express and "strung out" its then editor Peter Hill.

Both papers had suggested the McCanns were responsible for the death of the three-year-old, who vanished in 2007.

In March 2008, Madeleine's parents won a libel settlement and apology from Express Newspapers for suggesting they were responsible for their daughter's death.

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Media captionRichard Desmond on withdrawing from the PCC: "I felt it was... run by the people that hated our guts"

The evidence given by Mr Desmond was more combative than that given by the editor of one of the newspapers he owns.

Daily Star editor Dawn Neesom said she was "deeply sorry" for the upset her paper caused Kate and Gerry McCann over its articles on Madeleine, but said they had been based on information from the Portuguese police which she had thought was a "reliable source".

"It was a risk, and to this day I regret what happened in the McCann case, and all I can do is repeat the apology on page one for the hurt and distress we caused them," she said.

On Tuesday, Financial Times editor Lionel Barber told the inquiry his paper's code of conduct "is a model for self-regulation".

He said the code was stricter than the Press Complaints Commission's and there were severe penalties for breaching it.

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Media captionDaily Telegraph former editor Will Lewis said he feared the MPs' expenses material was ''a hoax''

Mr Barber called for a new independent press regulator, but said he would defend to his "last breath the freedom of the press".

On the same day the inquiry also heard from former Daily Telegraph editor Will Lewis, who revealed that the newspaper paid the middle man in the MPs' expenses story £150,000 for the disc containing the information.

He said he was initially concerned the story was a hoax, but soon realised he had a "responsibility" to publish it.

Meanwhile, current Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher said the PCC was "clearly not fit for purpose" in its present form.

Transcripts of the hearings so far are on the Leveson Inquiry website.

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