PRESS RELEASE: Conservative manifesto pledge to abandon Leveson part 2 and repeal section 40 “a wholesale betrayal both of victims of press abuse and ordinary members of the public”
Responding to the Conservative manifesto announcements on Leveson, a spokesperson for Hacked Off which campaigns for victims of press abuse said,
“The Conservative manifesto pledge to abandon part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry and repeal section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act is a wholesale betrayal both of victims of press abuse and ordinary members of the public whom the Prime Minister claims to represent.”
“It will undo years of cross-party co-operation in constructing a genuinely independent and effective system of press self-regulation, which has the overwhelming support of Parliament, the public, and working journalists. It will leave ordinary people defenceless against the power of unaccountable press barons. And it will damage genuine public interest journalism.”
“Moreover, by abandoning Leveson Part 2, Mrs May appears willing to see evidence of police corruption, of newspapers’ cover-up of widespread illegality, and of collusion between police and press swept under the carpet.”
“We know that, since the 2015 general election, senior members of the Conservative government have met newspaper editors and executives with increasing frequency. We know that Theresa May, in a 36 hour visit to New York last September, found time to visit Rupert Murdoch. We know that Mrs May has had private dinners with Paul Dacre. It appears that the Prime Minister has stitched up a calculated deal to trade the interests of the public for favourable election coverage in powerful newspapers.”
“If this pledge is carried through, there will be no effective, independent regulation of the press in this country and no access to affordable justice for victims of press abuse. We wish to make it clear that those who have suffered at the hands of powerful and unaccountable newspapers will not tolerate this betrayal”.
“We will fight throughout the next Parliament to ensure that the voices of ordinary people are heard above the megaphones of self-interested newspaper editors and proprietors. We will fight to ensure that the careful regulatory framework proposed by Leveson and agreed by Parliament is not systematically dismantled by a government subservient to newspaper editors. And we will fight to ensure that any inconvenient truths about cover-ups and about collusion between police, press and politicians in the past are exposed to proper scrutiny.”
- Hacked Off is the campaign for a free and accountable press, and we work with the victims of press abuse to achieve those aims.
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