Victims of press abuse lose confidence in Government
The Government today announced that the second part of the Leveson Inquiry will be cancelled. It was due to investigate corruption between politicians, the police, and the press, and the corporate governance failures which allowed phone hacking, illegal data theft, and systematic breaches of ethical codes by editors of national newspapers to be covered up.
The Government also announced it intends to seek repeal of measures designed to provide access to justice for ordinary people who are victims of press abuse.
Leveson Part Two suppression
Commenting, Jacqui Hames, whose family was targeted by press intrusion, said,
I sat in a room with former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron while he made promises directly to me, and other victims, that the Conservative Party would get to the bottom of press and police corruption by completing the Leveson Inquiry. Today this Government have made a clear choice to side with the unaccountable and unelected press barons over the rights of ordinary people in this country. I, and other victims of press abuse and intrusion, have no absolutely no confidence in this Government as they seem incapable of putting the rights of the people they serve over self-interest.
Gerry McCann, whose family were libelled, intruded upon, and otherwise the targets of press abuse, said,
The second part of the Inquiry is vital to investigate the corruption between politicians, the press and the police. Instead of proceeding with it as promised, this Government has abandoned its commitments to the victims of press abuse to satisfy the corporate interests of the large newspaper groups. This Government has lost all integrity when it comes to policy affecting the press.
Dr Evan Harris, Hacked Off Director, said,
This is probably the first time that a Government has overruled the views of the judicial Chair of a statutory Inquiry by cancelling an inquiry against his will. If this was any other industry the press would be demanding that an inquiry must happen immediately, but when it is about them they applaud the cover-up of a cover-up. The Government will find it very difficult to maintain this cover-up for long.
Intention to repeal Leveson’s access to justice measure
Christopher Jefferies, patron of Hacked Off and the Bristol landlord who was libelled by the press after the murder of his tenant Joanna Yeates, said,
The failure to introduce section 40 means that many ordinary people who are victims of press abuse will continue to be denied access to justice, while only the wealthy will be able to take newspapers to court to obtain justice. This law was passed by an overwhelming majority of the House of Commons with support across all parties. This decision by the Government to ignore that vote shows contempt for Parliamentary democracy and puts the interests of press barons above the interests of ordinary people.
Notes: Hacked Off is the campaign for a free and accountable press, and we work with the victims of press abuse to achieve those aims.