Press intrusion victims hold vigil as Prime Minister discusses self-regulation with editors
Responding to the Prime Minister’s demand that editors produce an improved version of self-regulation to avoid legislation, Dr Evan Harris, Associate Director of Hacked Off said:
The editors and the prime minister are deliberately missing the point.
Lord Justice Leveson said that it was essential to underpin whatever system the press developed with a legal guarantee of independence and effectiveness.
Whatever emerges this week, next week or next year from the editors is irrelevant to the essential requirement that a body is set up in law to verify that the scheme is good enough and stays good enough.
Victims and their political supporters will not allow any sham Cameron-Murdoch pact to cloud the issue.
Victims of phone hacking and other forms of press intrusion held a vigil outside the gates of Downing Street as the Prime Minister and Culture Secretary held a meeting with newspaper editors to discuss this proposal.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Professor Brian Cathcart, Director of Hacked Off said:
The newspaper industry has been found guilty of multiple and routine acts of misconduct, yet it appears to have got almost everything it wanted.
There is no compulsion to take part in the new regulation system. Lord Justice Leveson made no direct threat of legislation if they fail to get their act together. Nor does he propose any legal right to reply for victims of press abuses.
There is no direct statutory oversight, only a modest proposal that a body meets every three years to review standards of self-regulation. That is the very least the public could ask, but that too is being rejected by the industry.