LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday he would champion self-regulation for Britain's scandal-tainted press, bucking a key recommendation of his own media inquiry and setting up what might be a bruising confrontation with the opposition and his own coalition partners.
British journalism was plunged into crisis by revelations that journalists from across the tabloid newspaper industry had engaged in wrongdoing on an industrial scale, intercepting celebrity's voicemails, bribing police and prison officials, trampling over people's privacy and even hacking into computers in their hunt for scoops.
An inquiry ordered by Cameron recommended the creation of a press watchdog body dominated by non-journalists and backed by government regulation, but negotiations between Cameron's Conservatives and others over how to implement the recommendations have stalled amid increasingly acrimonious debate.
In a hastily-organized press conference, Cameron said the gap between politicians was unbridgeable and that he was pressing forward with his own plan for self-regulation formalized by government approval.
"I've chosen a practical solution over an unworkable solution," Cameron told journalists. "I have chosen a solution that protects press freedom over a solution that threatens press freedom."
A vote could come as soon as Monday, but it was not immediately clear whether Cameron's coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, would give the plan the support it may need to pass.
One victim of press intrusion voiced disappointment at the move.
Former Formula One boss Max Mosley, who sued the Rupert Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World newspaper for invasion of privacy over false claims he had taken part in a Nazi-themed orgy, said legislation was required for an enduring solution.
He said Cameron - who drew two of his closest advisors from the tainted tabloid - was bending over backwards to satisfy his allies in the media.
"He's doing everything he can to satisfy the press, but that doesn't satisfy the rest of us," Mosley told BBC television.