Fleet Street legend throws weight behind Leveson Bill

Former Times and Sunday Times editor, Sir Harold Evans has launched an outspoken attack on the “cynicism and arrogance” of the response by newspapers to the proposals of Lord Justice Leveson for regulatory reform and has given his public backing to the Leveson Bill proposed by Hacked Off.

Going on to describe Leveson’s proposals as a way to “protect privacy and encourage high standards while enlarging, not diminishing, the freedom of the press,” Sir Harold rejected suggestions that the judge’s recommendations posed any threat to press freedom.

Sir Harold condemned “much of the reaction to Leveson, coming from figures in the press who did nothing to penetrate – indeed whose inertia assisted – the cover-up conducted into oblivion by News International”.

Questioned by Bob Satchwell, chair of the Society of Editors, at the annual Hugh Cudlipp lecture in London last night, Sir Harold said that while safeguards were undoubtedly needed to ensure the freedom of the press from Government control, he believed that proposals put forward by the Labour party and the Hacked Off campaign contained sufficient provisions that such interference would not take place.

You can read Sir Harry’s full speech here.

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