EAST Lancashire’s MPs have welcomed the Leveson report recommending stricter regulations for the press. Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: "I endorse the report's conclusions.

“I think the prime minister is simply wrong to pour cold water on the report's central conclusion that there has to be some statutory underpinning for press regulation.

“It cannot work properly without it.

"Leveson is emphatic that he is not recommending statutory regulation and the prime minister has accepted that.

"The good news is the praise of the report for Britain's regional and local press - the Lancashire Telegraph included.”

Darwen and Rossendale MP Jake Berry said: “I think it is absolutely vital that we stick away from regulation to protect our local newspapers.

“My main concern is that if we had a state regualtory body it could see the closure of local papers.

“It is very important for us that we are seen to promote a free press abroad.

“It would be very difficult to do that if we had state regulation.”

Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, said he agreed that any new regulations should recognise the importance of regional press.

He said: “I welcome overall the recommendations of Lord Leveson.

“We need to make sure we welcome these recommendations but that we don’t rush into anything that might have consequences on regional press, which is essential for a democracy and holding politicians to account.”

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said: "I don't want a Soviet-style controlled state press of course but I think some regulation is in order.

“We have to make sure that what happened to Milly Dowler's family never happens again.

“It is the victims who come first here, the press's rights are secondary. “An independent regulator sounds sensible since it is clear the press can't voluntarily regulate themselves all the time."