Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday that the current system of press regulation in Britain was unacceptable "and needs to change" and insisted he would seek a cross-party consensus.
Speaking before the results of the Leveson Inqiry into press standards are published on Thursday, Cameron told lawmakers that he hoped the process would lead to "an independent regulatory system" for the press.
"The status quo, I would argue, does not just need updating — the status quo is unacceptable and needs to change," he told parliament.
"This government set up Leveson because of unacceptable practices in parts of the media and a failed regulatory system." Cameron added: "I think we should try to work across party lines on this issue.
"What matters most is that we end up with an independent regulatory system that can deliver and in which the public will have confidence." The British press is currently self-regulated by the Press Complaints Commission, a body staffed by editors, which critics say is toothless.
The leader of the main opposition Labour party, Ed Miliband, described the inquiry as "a once-in-a-generation opportunity for real change and I hope that this House can make it happen."
Cameron ordered the inquiry, led by senior judge Brian Leveson, to be set up after the discovery of widespread illegal hacking of voicemails at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid, which the Australian-born tycoon closed in July 2011.
More than 80 British lawmakers from a cross-section of parties warned in a letter to national newspapers on Wednesday against the introduction of state regulation of the press.
But a new poll showed that 60 per cent of the public favour implementing the inquiry's recommendations, even if Leveson calls for statutory regulation.