Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has told the Leveson Inquiry that it was unhealthy that certain parts of the media used newspapers as 'instruments of political power'.
"I'm just being open about that and open about the fact that,
frankly, I decided as a political leader that I was going to manage that
and not confront it..."Politicians will often
interact with them closely. Disentangling what is inevitable from what
is wrong is a profound challenge."
He went on: "My argument would be that the unhealthy nature of this
relationship is not the product of an individual but of a culture. It is the draining of the poison of that culture that is the real
challenge, a challenge deepened by the arrival of the social media and
one not at all confined to the UK.
"I cannot believe we were the first and only Government which has wanted
to put the best possible gloss on what you were doing," Blair, Prime
Minister between 1997 and 2007, told inquiry chairman Lord Justice
"That is a completely different thing from saying you should go out and
say things that are untrue or bully and harass journalists. I read a lot
of things we are supposed to have done and I dispute them."