David Cameron walks away from cross-party Leveson talks, Hacked Off responds

Commenting on David Cameron’s decision to end cross-party talks on implementing the Leveson Report, Professor Brian Cathcart, Executive Director, Hacked Off said:

This is a shameless betrayal of the victims of press abuse.

It also raises two fingers to all those members of the public who wanted to see change after the Milly Dowler phone-hacking revelations two years ago.

The Prime Minister has walked away from talks in which other parties were trying desperately to accommodate his views on a Royal Charter.

Instead he has chosen to throw his lot in with powerful national newspaper groups, whose actions were condemned in the Leveson Report. His version of the Royal Charter would have paved the way for a regulatory system little different from the discredited Press Complaints Commission.

He allowed the newspapers to rewrite Leveson so much that they would have been able to pick and choose which complaints their self regulator dealt with and would have given the self regulator little power to tell a paper to give an apology or a correction due prominence.

Worse than that, the editors would have been able to write their own rules and handpick the people who ran the regulator.

This was just the sort of regime we had before Leveson and it was designed to protect the interests of editors and proprietors rather than the public.”

All recent polls show that around three-quarters of the public want effective press regulation, if necessary backed by law. We believe that most Parliamentarians feel the same way and we hope that now that the issue is finally going before Parliament we will see a clear statement that this once-in-a-generation-opportunity is not going to be lost.

David Cameron is trying to portray this as an issue of press freedom. No serious person believes that the Leveson recommendations on press regulation pose any threat to freedom of expression.

Cameron is trying to raise a smokescreen to hide his dirty dealings behind closed doors with powerful press barons who don’t want to have to be accountable when their newspapers –to use Lord Justice Leveson’s words – ‘wreak havoc in the lives of innocent people’.

To read what all 3 party leaders have said about Leveson and press regulation click here.

To show your support for Leveson’s recommendations and the victims of press abuse who gave evidence at the inquiry, please sign the Hacked Off petition, and encourage your friends to do the same.

We rely on people like you to make a difference.

Give now to support the campaign for a free and accountable press.



Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Jay Wilcoxreply
March 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I still dont believe that Ca-Moron didnt know what LOL means – hes a liar and has always been in bed with the press. Our own PM ddnt know what LOL meant – no way…………

Paul Partingtonreply
March 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm

To say the least I not impressed with David Cameron’s statement today. It just adds to the distrust of some of those who claim to being representing us in parliament. It is unhealthy for the claimed democracy of this country to be dictated by the power of the owners of the press. It shows weak leadership in the highest office in government.

Dave Eyrereply
March 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Disgraceful behaviour by Cameron. Nothing new there then. I am wonder whether he thinks he will lose HoC votes and thus be able to point to the proprietors and say – well I tried.

Steve Archibaldreply
March 14, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Cameron is obviously looking after his mates.
I bet Brooke’s and Coulson won’t go to jail either.

Grant Buckleyreply
March 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm

The UK is already considered to be 29th (28th last year) in the World for press freedom, by Reporters without Borders. Are we just seeing a process to ‘clean up the press’ or are we seeing a more sinister move to control what the press can report? There have already been occasions where important news has been reported outside the UK, but not here. For example, Euronews was reporting problems with RBS long before it became a news item in the UK. When I questioned the news media, in the UK, as to why they were not carrying this news, I was told it was an ‘editorial decision’. Do we want to allow such important news to be ‘censored’? We need to be careful what press freedoms we want removed.

mr t.luptonreply
March 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm

who is running the country
rupert murdock it seems

is it any wonder that people dont bother to vote

a personreply
March 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm
– In reply to: mr t.lupton

is it any wonder that people dont bother to vote and what exactly have the conservatives got in common with any of the other parties? they are ruling on their own, it seems

Ian Harrisreply
March 14, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Its an absolute disgrace, this country is being run by a coalition party, who both seem to think it acceptable to say 1 thing, ie.. make an empty promise, an then, go an completely do a u-turn. We have no say or influence whatsoever over these people, there needs to be a change and it needs to be soon

P Cowburnreply
March 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I thought the elected government were supposed to represent the peoples wishes.
Ooops! There I go again, being naive. These so called elected govenors say what they think we the people want to hear and then just go ahead and do whatever is neccessary to keep themselves in power. I guess the saying is right – Power Corrupts! Its all very very sad.

Martin Andrereply
March 14, 2013 at 5:51 pm

This is an outrage!
Cameroon is completely wrong on this
Independent press regulation has clearly failed and we need Leveson to be implemented in full.
The Prime Minister has let down all the innocent people whose lives have been made a misery by the press and instead chooses to stand by the media barons who are ultimately responsible for this!

Darren Gladstonereply
March 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm

No matter who ‘runs’ the UK, they need to be in bed with Murdoch. If Labour want to be back in power, expect lots of toadying up to N.I. by Miliband & little soundbites regarding SCameron walking away.

Vicky L.reply
March 14, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Yes, what a disgraceful – and utterly predictable – betrayal of the victims of press intrusion and harassment, and of the wishes of the public. I just hope that when people hear and see the weasel tones and self-righteous cant of the press, and of the Prime Minister, they’ll remember some of the sickening testimony given before Lord Justice Leveson – and that they’ll sign the Hacked Off petition, write to their MP, and keep up the pressure in any constructive way they can. We mustn’t let the press magnates and their Westminster puppets to get away with this!

March 14, 2013 at 10:52 pm

“No serious person believes that the Leveson recommendations on press regulation pose any threat to freedom of expression.”

What a ridiculous thing to say. If you had any interest in public debate around the issue then you would realize that a lot of serious people are worried about the effect Leveson’s proposals could have on freedom of expression. Its no surprise really, seeing as though you seem determined to push the proposals through the back door by callously sabotaging bills that have been long in the making. Your attitude is that of a spoilt brat, demanding it gets its own way without any respect for free and open debate, or for the spirit of democracy.

Techno Vision – David Cameron’s Leveson gamble is the right call | George Brockreply
March 14, 2013 at 11:09 pm

[…] Cameron is guilty of a “shameful betrayal” of the victims of press abuse, says the Hacked Off campaign, because he has broken off negotiations over press regulation and set a deadline for putting […]

March 14, 2013 at 11:33 pm

This is outrageous. How much more bloody obvious does it become that the Prime Minister is owned and controlled by the Press. They obviously have some dirt on him or promised him a nice reward. Scum.

John lopreply
March 15, 2013 at 12:25 am

If you get your statutory regulation of the press, I will start a paper and refuse to be regulated or abide by any rules of the regulator and will ignore any compliance “requests”. I shall then be in breach of the law, and will suffer the consequences simply for publishing. I, unlike you, believe passionately in a free press.

Alison Moirreply
March 15, 2013 at 5:06 am

Shame on you David Cameron. How will we be able to trust that anything you say in the future will have any truth in it? You stood up and said you wanted change and have then thwarted every attempt for it to happen. You have sold us all out for the sake of keeping the press ‘happy’.

Ariana Rayreply
March 15, 2013 at 7:22 am

Shame indeed! Get Murdoch out of Downing Street! So the Prime Minister ‘has chosen to throw his lot in with powerful national newspaper groups, whose actions were condemned in the Leveson Report.’ What a big rat. How many times do we, the people, need to say we want change, we want a media that is accountable and is NOT running the country.

Iain Gordonreply
March 15, 2013 at 8:22 am

Are there any politicians with two old fasioned attributes – honesty and cedibility. David Cameron is in the process of loosing touch with the real world. Power has corrupted.

March 15, 2013 at 8:43 am

Naturally Hugh Grant wants the press muzzled, he has never forgiven them for reporting on his sex activity in the back of a car with a prostitute. But od course you won’t print this as it does not suit your purpose.

Rowan Roenischreply
March 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm

As we know from the last few years, Cameron is in the pocket of Murdoch and company. Now is the time to really put up a fight and get his tainted proposals voted against on Monday. What was the expensive Leveson Inquiry all about if its proposals are not implemented in full?

Patrick Bastowreply
March 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Why spent millions of £’s on the Levenson Enquiry only to ignore the recommendations.

David Cameron is more concerned about what the media think that what normal voters want – that’s because he knows the power of a biased press and he wants the press on his side at the next election.

March 17, 2013 at 1:57 am

“No serious person believes that the Leveson recommendations on press regulation pose any threat to freedom of expression”. You could go write for the tabloids you so despise

I’M HACKED OFF | Pandaemoniumreply
March 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm

[…] that victims must dictate legislation. Who are so dismissive of public debate that they think ‘no serious person’ disagrees with […]

On the mess that is the Royal Charter | Marta Cooperreply
March 19, 2013 at 11:51 am

[…] Me, I’m frustrated by the whole episode. Frustrated by how our leaders are congratulating themselves on a rushed and poor compromise done in the early hours of Monday morning. I’m saddened by how quickly we’re willing to give up our liberty. As Kenan Malik has pointed out, it’s infuriating how many liberals “seem unable to distinguish between a good press and an unfree press, or understand why it’s better to have a ‘bad’ free press than a ‘good’ unfree press.” Defending the freedom of this country’s newspapers doesn’t automatically make you one of Dacre’s disciples. Nor do genuine concerns over data protection proposals in Leveson’s report mean you don’t fall within the ‘serious person’ bracket (though thanks for being so dismissive of us, Hacked Off). […]

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