Posted: December 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm

At lunchtime on Sunday, Hacked Off’s online petition calling on the main party leaders to implement the Leveson recommendations on press regulation in full passed 100,000 signatures. People continue to sign and the number is climbing so rapidly that this may be Britain’s fastest-growing online petition ever.

Professor Brian Cathcart, Director of Hacked Off, said:

This is a powerful indication of the strength of public feeling on Leveson.

We have long known that the public is firmly behind effective, independent regulation of the press, which is what the Leveson Report recommends.

We hope that the Prime Minister, who last Thursday appeared to reject a key part of the recommendations, is listening to the voice of the public, just as he promised he would in his evidence under oath at the Leveson Inquiry.

He also promised to listen to the voices of people who have suffered from press abuses, and they have clearly stated their approval for the Leveson proposals.

The House of Commons debates the Leveson Report tomorrow and Hacked Off is calling on all MPs to stand up to press bullying and propaganda and ensure that self-regulation is guaranteed by law to be independent and effective, as the judge has declared is essential.

There must be no fixes or fudges, and no more last chances for editors and proprietors who have been found guilty by the Leveson Inquiry of causing devastating harm to the lives of innocent people.

Hacked Off has robust procedures in place to ensure that the petition results are not open to abuse. A continuous process of verification is under way and false or repeat signatures, where found, are removed from the total number given on the website. We have uncovered very little evidence of such abuses.

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  2. Colin & Geoff Parker-Chance

    Congratulations on the ongoing strength this petition is gaining.
    We both received a letter from our local (Tory) MP which was staggering in it’s arrogance and pomposity.
    Let’s hope we can do something about the stance our “leaders” seem to be taking over this grave issue.

  3. Kim Pomphrey (Mr)

    Freedom of speech is a precious cornerstone of a democratic society and we need a robust press and media to expose the liars and cheats in all walks of life.When a dictator comes to power the first victim is the free press. Murdoch is a dictator who hides behind the words “Free Speech” to impose his own appalling lack of respect for the accepted standards of morality and decency in a healthy society. Under his guidance and other media Barons the modern press have arrogantly abused this precious freedom They have been exposed and must pay the price by the implementation of the Leveson report in full.

  4. Camilla

    I don’t know whether the comment on the robustness of the petition was recently added but it’s good it’s there.

    • K Toto

      “Hacked Off has robust procedures in place to ensure that the petition results are not open to abuse. A continuous process of verification is under way and false or repeat signatures, where found, are removed from the total number given on the website. We have uncovered very little evidence of such abuses.”
      Typical lefty nonsense and lies!
      I have clear and indisputable evidence that the petition has multiple signatures from the same individuals.
      The petition is utterly discredited.

    • K Toto

      So Hacked Off has removed my post for stating that its petition was discredited by multiple signatures from the same source. Not keen on free speech, then? Who would have thought it?


    Professor Brian Cathcart

    The truth is J K Rowling said ” I feel duped and angry at David Cameron ” – J K Rowling has the power to crush Cameron and she has
    You do not hostilize someone like J K Rowling
    The question now is – Cameron is facing Labour, Lib Dems and the 100,000 signatures with the MPs who are all in favour of the Leveson’s recommendations
    He is finished – he has lost
    The question is – WHAT NOW?
    Does Hack Off close down the shop and that’s it?
    OK we have the Police under the control of the Police Crime Commissioners – but
    The Courts and Judges are all Free Masons
    The I P C C is a complete farce and con
    Access to the Courts is so expensive people distance themselves from taking action no matter how badly they were beaten and battered
    There is much still to do – I favour an Association between Hacked Off and Hillsborough under the banner ” Duped and Angry! – J K Rowling ”
    The Association would have more power than God and if driven in a creative, intelligent, marketing savvy manner could grow to have over 1,000,000 member all contributing £10 to £50 a year
    But your marketing is very poor and you have not set goals for after succeeding – because you have won – the question is – what comes next?

  6. Mary Whittaker

    Leveson report must be acted upon

  7. Mohammed Syed

    I heard some political editors of the press say the public do not care or ‘understand’ the issues raised by The Leveson Inquiry, that we have no grasp of the concept of a free press or Statutory basis or foundation to a new regulatory body. This is insulting to say the least. That people, ordinary, well informed and deeply concerned members of the public have signed this petition in such numbers shows the level of conern we have over this issue. I implore the government to take serious notice of this, and not throw away our signatures.

  8. Rob Rackstraw

    People are smelling a rat. You commission an inquiry at vast expense, then ignore the recommendations. Cameron is either bought and paid for, or afraid of what the press might reveal about him. This is his Iraq. The British public is sleeping dog, but now we are growling.

  9. Dereck Johnston

    Unfortunately “Hacked-Off” hacks me off. I feel that you are rather naive and self-interested people who don’t realise the vital importance of a free press. Our people have died in wars to protect freedom of expression. Now some well-financed “celebs” who relied on the press in the first instance to attain their massively inflated incomes and some hard- and some not so hard done by, eg the McCanns (in my view) people who HAVE had financial recompense and ARE seeing criminality appropriately dealt with, still want to take huge risks with a free press.

    Consider for once, not your own narrow view but project if you can, your minds into a future where there may be a more authoritarian government than the present one – how do you think they might appoint your panel of OVERSEERS? A clue lies perhaps in how authoritarian Blair/Brown’s new-Labour stormtroopers were becoming….remember Blunkett and his US
    extradition treaty, rendition/torture, Brown’s 42 day detention effort….dodgy dossier, illegal wars etc etc, and it’s not too hard to imagine how future governments may seek to muzzle the press when it will be vital to keep them free.
    Please do not count this as a note of support, quite the reverse, sorry folks but you are
    dangerously deluded.

  10. Jan

    Keep up the good work!
    Off topic but for your information, the link to the right, ‘NO MORE LAST CHANCES FOR THE MEDIA BARONS’, is malformed and leads to a 404 page.

    • Hacked Off

      Thanks very much Jan, we’ve fixed this now!

  11. Joss

    This is so important. The recommendations made by Leveson are fair and really very obvious. But however enthusiastically the press might say they will implement them, in five or ten years down the line they will become watered down and the committee will become like Pete Townshend’s song, “here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.”

    Don’t let that happen. Sign the petition and persuade the government to put into place legislation that will prevent the new system from being undermined by politicians, editors and the newspaper owners.

    This is not putting the government in charge of the press, this is putting the public in charge.

  12. RL Willott

    The average Parliamentary Constituency has 80k voters, but if we assume a 50% turn out that’s 40k. So far Hacked Off has the equivalent of three Parliamentary Constituencies.

  13. Peter Reynolds

    Congratulations on this achievement. We need to go much further though. This corrupt government has already reneged on its e-petition pledge and ignored many that have grown well past the 100,000 mark. The people of Britain are stitched up every day by the oligarchy of Westminster, the press and the banks and we need to fight back. This is an excellent cause around which to unite. The press barons are a self-serving, dishonest collection of owners and editors who manipulate their power and their contacts for personal political and financial gain. They and their sleazy hacks are entirely distinct from the noble profession of journalism.

    At all costs we must resist any attempt to revert to ‘self-regulation’. The lunatics have been in charge of the asylum for too long.


  14. Finn McCann

    Congratulations. What stalling process will PM find now?

    Finn McCann

    • Finn McCann

      Well done

  15. Virou Rajah

    “Rupert Murdoch is a bad man. His son James is also bad. Rebekah Brooks is allegedly bad. The News of the World was very bad; it hacked phones and pilloried people. British prime ministers grovelled before this iniquity. David Cameron even sent text messages to Brooks signed “LOL”, and they all had parties in the Cotswolds with Jeremy Clarkson. Nods and winks were duly exchanged on the BSkyB deal.

    Shock, horror.

    Offering glimpses of the power and petty gangsterism of the British tabloid press, the inquiry conducted by Lord Leveson has, I suspect, shocked few people. As the soap has rolled on, bemusement has given way to boredom. Tony Blair was allowed to whine about the Daily Mail’s treatment of his wife until he and the inquiry’s amoral smugness protecting him were exposed by a member of the public, David Lawley-Wakelin, who shouted, “Excuse me, this man should be arrested for war crimes.” His Lordship duly apologised to the war criminal and the truth-teller was seen off.

    Why Murdoch should complain about the British establishment has always mystified me. His interrogation, if that is the word, by Robert Jay QC, was a series of verbal marshmallows that Murdoch promptly spat out. When he described one of his own rambling, self-satisfied questions as “subtle”, Jay received this deft dismissal from Murdoch: “I’m afraid I don’t have much subtlety in me.”

    As the theatre critic Michael Billington reminded us recently, it was in the Spectator in 1955 that Henry Fairlie coined the term “the establishment”, defining it as “the matrix of official and social relations within which power in Britain is exercised”. For most of my career as a journalist, Murdoch has been an influential and admired member of this club: even a mentor to many of those now casting him as a “bad apple”. His deeply cynical mantra, “I’m only giving the public what they want”, was echoed by journalists and broadcasters as they lined up to dumb down their work and embrace the propaganda of corporatism that followed Murdoch’s bloody move to Wapping in 1986.

    More than 5,000 men and women were sacked, and countless families destroyed and suicides committed; and Murdoch could not have got away with it had Margaret Thatcher and the Metropolitan Police not given him total, often secret support, and journalists not lain face down on the floors of buses that drove perilously through the picket lines of their former, principled colleagues.

    Cheering him on, if discreetly, were those now running what Max Hastings has called the “new establishment”: the media’s managerial middle class, often liberal to a fault, that was later to fall at the feet of Murdoch’s man Blair, the future war criminal, whose election as prime minister was celebrated in the Guardian with: “Few now sang England Arise, but England has risen all the same.”

    Leveson has asked nothing about how the respectable media complemented the Murdoch press in systematically promoting corrupt, mendacious, often violent political power whose crimes make phone-hacking barely a misdemeanour. The Leveson inquiry is a club matter, in which a member has caused such extraordinary public embarrassment he must be black-balled, so that nothing changes.

    What jolly fun to hear Jeremy Paxman grass on Piers Morgan who, he gossiped, described to him how to hack phones. Paxman was asked nothing by Jay about the essential role of the BBC and its leading lights as state propagandists for illegal wars that have killed, maimed and dispossessed millions. How ironic that the lunch Paxman attended at the Daily Mirror appears to have been in 2002 when the Mirror, edited by Morgan, was the only Fleet Street newspaper uncompromisingly opposed to the coming invasion of Iraq: thus reflecting the wishes of the majority of the British public.

    And what a wheeze it was to hear from the clubbable Andrew Marr, the BBC’s ubiquitous voice: he of the super-injunction. Just as Murdoch’s Sun declared in 1995 that it shared the rising Blair’s “high moral values”, so Marr, writing in the Observer in 1999, lauded the new prime minister’s “substantial moral courage”. What impressed Marr was Blair’s “utter lack of cynicism”, along with his bombing of Yugoslavia which would “save lives”. By March 2003, Marr was the BBC’s political editor. Standing in Downing Street on the night of the assault on Iraq, he rejoiced at the vindication of Blair who, he said, had promised “to take Baghdad without a bloodbath”. The diametric opposite was true. In hawking his self-serving book in 2010, Blair selected Marr for his “exclusive TV interview”. During their convivial encounter they discussed an attack on Iran, the country Hillary Clinton once said she was prepared to “obliterate”.

    In the text messages disclosed by Leveson between Murdoch lobbyist Frederic Michel and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, there is this one from Michel: “Very good on Marr as always”. In a cable leaked to WikiLeaks, the US embassy in London urged Hillary Clinton to be interviewed by the “congenial” Marr because he often “sets the political agenda for the nation” and “will offer maximum impact for your investment of time”. Inquisitor Jay showed no interest.

    When Alastair Campbell “gave evidence”, Jay waved a copy of Blair’s A Journey and quoted Blair’s view of his chief collaborator as “a genius”.

    “Sweet,” responded Campbell.

    “And with great clunking balls as well,” continued Jay QC, awaiting the laughter. The silence of 780,000 Iraqi widows was a presence.

    Not a single opponent of the institutional power of the media has been called by Leveson, though farce is welcomed. Richard Desmond, who owns the Daily Express and a section of the British porn industry, during his appearance damned the Daily Mail as “Britain’s worst enemy” and said the Press Complaints Commission “hated our guts”.

    Shock, horror. Or just sweet.”

    – John Pilger

  16. David Lewer

    The government are siding with perpetrators of crimes rather than the victims. It’s seems to me they only agreed to an enquiry because they knew they could simply ignore it. I shouldn’t be surprised at this staggering injustice, yet somehow I am. I honestly thought there was still a shred of decency somewhere.

  17. kevin omahony

    if they don,t regulate them selfs properly then the law must step in to make it happen