Byline Investigates has revealed that Ben Stokes is suing The Sun over its coverage of a 31-year-old family tragedy. Stokes has hired the same lawyer as Prince Harry.
Hacked Off Policy Director Nathan Sparkes said:
“The Sun’s Ben Stokes frontpage story was an appalling invasion of privacy with no public interest justification.
“If The Sun had joined an independent regulator as Leveson recommended instead of spending the last five years mindlessly attacking his proposals as a threat to free speech without a shred of evidence, then they might have been in a position to benefit from the low-cost system of arbitration Leveson recommended as a means to save court costs for both claimant and defendant in cases such as these. Instead the title finds itself fighting yet another legal action following this appallingly intrusive coverage.
“Many people affected by press abuse are ordinary members of the public who do not have the means to pursue justice to or hold newspapers to account. For every person who has the resources to bring a claim against a newspaper, there are dozens who have been deprived of access to justice by the failures of the newspaper industry and the Government to introduce Leveson’s reforms.
“Until the Leveson system of truly independent press regulation is introduced, the abuse suffered by Stokes and his family, and many more victims of press abuse, will persist.
“Leveson Part 2 was scrapped in part because we were told the press had already changed enough. The last few weeks have shown this once again to be a lie.”
Nathan Sparkes on regulation:
“A fundamental problem is the total absence of regulation across most of our newspaper industry. The complaints-handler IPSO claims it has the power to issue large fines and launch serious investigations into breaches of the Editors’ Code, but it has never done so. This is because IPSO is controlled by the same newspapers it is supposed to regulate. There is no deterrent from newspapers acting in this way time and again.
“Newspapers continue to break their own code with impunity. Until IPSO is reformed or replaced to meet the Leveson requirements for independent regulation, there will be no accountability for the press and no protection for ordinary people who are victims of press abuse.”
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Hacked Off is the campaign for a free and accountable press, and we work with the victims of press abuse to achieve those aims.