Dr Sarah Wollaston is Conservative MP for Totnes, Brixham and the South Ham. Follow Sarah on Twitter.
Better our slightly anarchic, two fingers to the establishment, out-of-control press than a controlled press. Statutory controls would be a more convenient option for celebrities and politicians but the public should be very wary. Phone hacking was illegal when it invaded the privacy of the Dowlers and remains illegal today and it is wrong for those who favour State controls to take shelter behind a claim to have their interests at heart. A vote to allow Parliament a toe in the door of press freedom carries a risk that is not worth taking. It also ignores the power of the Internet to render our printed news entirely irrelevant let alone bankrupt, should readers be bored by the resulting bland self censorship.
But the Prime Minister cannot have it both ways. Either we are in favour of freedom of speech or we are not and it is also time for the gagging orders at the heart of government to be removed by the one person with the power to make it happen.
To universal welcome, gagging orders have finally been banned in the NHS... with one notable exception. How can the following be justified within the 'job description' of the ministerial aide to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt?
'They should avoid associating themselves with recommendations critical of or embarrassing to the Government. They should also exercise discretion in any speeches or broadcasts outside the House'.