Hacked Off response to Leveson's report: It's time for action

Posted: November 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Lord Justice Leveson has delivered his report after his 16 month inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press. Jacqui Hames, a former policewoman and Crimewatch presenter who was placed under surveillance by the News of the World in 2002, has delivered the following statement on behalf of victims of press abuse and the Hacked Off campaign.

We welcome this carefully prepared and thorough report.

The Judge has rightly condemned the outrageous conduct of the press in the recent years.

The crucial point is the importance he places on the complete independence of regulation from politicians and from the editors and proprietors, who run the wholly discredited Press Complaints Commission.

He has proposed a system of voluntary and independent self-regulation.

The proposals made by the industry do not come close to this ideal.

What is needed is a regulator which can properly and effectively protect the victims of press misconduct.

He has recommended that this be backed by legislation to protect the public and the press.

These proposals are reasonable and proportionate and we call on all parties to get together to implement them as soon as possible.

The press must be given a deadline. The Inquiry is over. Now is the time for action.

14 comments

  1. Richard Hoblyn FCSI - reply

    I sympathise with the Hacked Off campaign but you’re 100% wrong about REGULATION as described as VOLUNTARY & INDEPENDENT SELF-REGULATION. If you want a good example of where it’s going wrong take a look at FSA & the hydra’s now protruding from it. Regrettably impending REGULATION as prescribed opposes the very thoughts and ideals of FREEDOM that everyone wants. What the people in UK need is a big stick (it’s called the Justice System) to get to the criminal element in the journalistic world. REGULATION wont work and we cannot afford it. It is always a gravy train for corruption……

    • Patti Page - reply

      The First Amendment in the US Constitutional Bill of Rights has been on the statute books for over two hundred years. It enshrines freedom of speech and protects the Press whilst ensuring redress against the sort of abuses that we’ve seen from the British tabloids. It hasn’t done the US any harm. Voluntary self-regulation, in which some parts of the press have not participated, has patently not worked and caused acute distress to many. A new framework with statutory underpinning, which obliges full Press participation is required. Broadcasters have been regulated similarly for decades – so should the Press. Changes are needed.

  2. Robyn - reply

    Well done Hugh on having the b@lls to stand up to these
    Idiots. About time the press were reigned in.

  3. chris hedges - reply

    I agree completely with the statement and give it my full support. If politicians cannot accept and enact the full Leveson Recommendations then allow the public to decide in a referendum.

  4. Jeff Jinx - reply

    The people who need to be governed by these proposals will simply opt out. Did the British tax payers really fund this? Is this the best that could be imagined/implemented for a more honest, less covert Press?

  5. Edward Bowman - reply

    I completely support your statment television & radio has had regulatory framework backed by law from the very begin it has worked fine time for the press to follow suit.

    Politicians responses show us they are still owned by a press that in the UK puts to much power into to few hands enough is enough.

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  7. Tom Gawn - reply

    Having seen the news today I was a little bit disappointed by Leveson’s Report which does not go quite far enough. That said, there are many good elements in it. It does recognise the damage done to ordinary innocent people, to victims and their families by irresponsible journalism and the frequent disregard by some of the press for the facts or truth. Leveson’s proposals although modest would represent a hugh improvement of the 60 years of self regulation (if one could actually call it regulation).

    The response the the Prime Minister is appalling, inadequate and cowardly. More power to your elbow. It gives the impression of someone in thrawl to the press barons.

  8. Julian Cope - reply

    [I'm not THE Julian Cope from Teardrop Explodes by the way,]

    I really hope that something positive comes out of this costly and time-consuming enquiry/report. The recommendaions seem balanced and proprorionate, whereas the so-called ‘thin end of regulation edge’argument simply doesn’t hold water.

    Mr. Cameron, the report is far from bonkers, so if you don’t implement it you will be going bck on your promise … oh, nearlt forgot, you’re a politician so the normal rules don’t apply!

  9. Carolynne Knight - reply

    Time for action? Talking on a website doesn’t amount to ‘Action’ does it?
    Firstly, let’s push the petition. Hard. Every public statement, every blog, every everything that ‘Hacked Off’ does needs to mention the petition. A quick 100,000 signatories makes Parliamentary debate inevitable.
    The danger is that nothing gets done as we get bogged down in the so-called ‘Statutory’ argument. The press might just get on with setting up the regulator as designed by Leveson, as the best way of avoiding statute. More likely, the press will wait for Parliament, which will not get anything done.
    First the petition. Then the March!!! A lot to organize with a march, but it seems like the next obvious step.

  10. Rod Spencer - reply

    I’m affraid the Pollitions will axe the Leveson’s report, its all to do with sesationism and money the Media including BBC ect, are one of tools of the Pollitions, and the Media informs the Public what these Pollitions want the Public to hear,unfortunatly the Public cannot fight back Everything is contolled by these mistery men who tell pollitions what to do,( Quote from the famous Paul Simon).Good luck with Hached Off

  11. Geoffrey Gill - reply

    Lord Leveson is an intelligent man (you can’t get to be a Court of Appeal Judge if you’re not) and has clearly gone to great lengths to make recommendations which he believes are workable IN LAW. Does the Prime Minister think he knows better than an experienced judge about what is workable in law? He is certainly giving that impression.

    One of my law lecturers once made the comment “My right to swing my fist ends at the tip of your nose”. What protects the tip of my nose?
    -THE LAW. Without the criminal law, (or indeed the law of Tort) anybody could give me a bloody nose without fear of any consequences. Who makes and enforces the criminal and civil law? In the last resort: THE STATE.
    Press freedom should be cherished, but not at the expense of individuals over whom the press is allowed to “ride roughshod”. If the Prime Minister is advocating that the Press should not be bound by ANY laws created by the State (which seems to be his philosophical justification for his current position) that is clearly a nonsense – it is his philosophical position which is “bonkers”, not Lord Leveson’s.
    Our whole society must be governed by the “Rule of Law”, and that must include the Press.

    High Court Judges are independent – but they themselves are subject to the Law – there are statutory provisions regulating their appointment, and statutory provisions allowing them to be sacked if they transgress. (Provisions by the way which date back three hundred years, and which do not ever appear to have been “misused” by politicians, at least in recent times). If the Prime Minister is so worried about the future independence of any regulatory body, let the regulatory body be made up of retired High Court Judges…..

    From what I have read, both the Danish and the Irish systems of regulation seem to work reasonably well. If Nick Clegg is to be believed, much of the UK press has signed up to the Irish system for their Irish titles. So what exactly is it with these systems that the Prime Minister finds so unacceptable?

    In short, I cannot see that the Prime Minister’s stated objections stand up to any meaningful scrutiny.

    So what is he REALLY afraid of? The press barons perhaps?

  12. John stubbs - reply

    What happened to Hugh Grant’s documentary on channel 4
    scheduled for Wednesday night?

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