Hacked Off launch consultation on the Leveson Bill
Since Lord Justice Leveson published his recommendations seven weeks ago, we’ve seen a flurry of activity. Three draft bills have been published – by Labour, the Lib Dem peer Lord Lester, and Hacked Off – all of which aim to put the Report into practice. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport have also produced a piece of draft legislation, that we publish today. This Government Bill was intended to demonstrate the ferocious complexity of a bill to enact Leveson. In fact, like the three other draft bills, it does the opposite: it shows that legislation to make a reality of media reform is neither complicated nor particularly prone to the risk of endless amendments. Meanwhile, the Conservative side of the Coalition have been working on the idea of a Royal Charter to give effect to the same reforms.
Last week, Hacked Off published a Bill that would meet the Prime Minister’s ‘Victims’ Test’, the degree of satisfaction of victims of press abuse, which David Cameron said would be the true measure of the Government’s response to Leveson. We wrote it in consultation with victims of press abuse and our supporters. Those victims, including Gerry and Kate McCann, Christopher Jefferies, Abigail Witchalls, Paul Dadge, Mo George, Jacqui Hames, John Tulloch, Margaret and James Watson and Jane Winter all believe that it delivers the Leveson recommendations on press reform. Now we’re doing something that no one else has done: asking you to tell us what you think.
We will be consulting on the Leveson Bill until February 15th. We want you to help us refine and improve those proposals. The process is open to victims of press abuse, parliamentarians, academics, civil society groups, the newspaper industry, journalists and the general public: in short, anyone who wants to make this a better Bill is invited to join in the debate and contribute to the process.
As well as publishing the draft Leveson Bill we are also publishing the Bills produced by the Government, Labour and the Lib Dem Peer Lord Lester. Hacked Off want this process to be open and transparent, in marked contrast to how the press and some politicians have been conducting their negotiations.