Press intrusion victims hold vigil as Prime Minister discusses self-regulation with editors

Posted: December 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm

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.

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3 comments

  1. Patricia Borlenghi - reply

    David Cameron commissioned the Leveson report and is now backtracking. He is weak and feeble and should not be running our country.

  2. Andy Birtwistle - reply

    Be true to your word!

  3. Viv - reply

    I keep hearing talk of a regulatory body with ‘teeth’, but for the life of me I can’t see how we shall have anything other than gums without some kind of legal underpinning. I really don’t see why the very same editors who (along with others) have been the authors of all this misery should be allowed to come up with their own solution, or why we the public should be asked or expected to trust them. I’m sorry, but I am not prepared to take their word for anything. They may well comply for a time while the spotlight is on them, but experience rather suggests that will all gradually go by the board without a guarantee imposed from outside which they can’t wriggle out of. As you say here, a scheme which is good enough and STAYS good enough is what we are all now entitled to expect, especially those innocent people who have suffered so much and whose pain has brought all this to light.

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