Keighley MP Kris Hopkins says he would be “very wary” of any new laws which undermined a free press.

He was speaking this afternoon following publication of Lord Justice Leveson’s report into press standards and ethics.

Lord Leveson is calling for legislation to underpin a "genuinely independent and effective system of self-regulation" for the press.

His report criticised the press for ignoring its own code of conduct.

Mr Hopkins says: “There is much to consider in this report, for which Lord Justice Leveson deserves immense credit, and his recommendations will take some time to properly consider.

“The core issue is clearly whether or not the press should be subject to regulation by Act of Parliament.

“I would personally be very wary of voting in favour of any new laws which may undermine a free press or curb free speech, both of which lie at the very heart of our democratic system.”

Adrian Jeakings, president of the Newspaper Society, welcomed the Leveson Report’s praise for the important social and democratic role played by the local press.

But he said local newspapers had always been vehemently opposed to any form of statutory involvement or underpinning in press regulation.

He added: “The UK’s local media had nothing to do with the phone hacking scandal which prompted the Leveson Inquiry but we have been all too aware that hundreds of responsible regional and local newspapers would inevitably be caught up in any resulting new system of press regulation.”

Updates relating to the Leveson Report will appear here and a full story will be carried in next week’s paper.