Government announces suppression of Public Inquiry into police, press and political corruption and seeks repeal of Leveson’s access to justice recommendation

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.

For press enquiries and interviews: Email press@hackinginquiry.org or call Nathan Sparkes on 07554 665940

21 Comments

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Government announces suppression of Public Inquiry into police, press and political corruption and seeks repeal of Leveson’s access to justice recommendation | Hacked Off – Fascism Watch UKreply
March 01 at 01:03 PM

[…] https://hackinginquiry.org/mediareleases/gov-cancels-leveson-accesstojustice/ […]

David Woolnoughreply
March 01 at 01:03 PM

There is only one newspaper in this country that speaks out against the press barons and that is the Morning Star.
I respectfully suggest that if you want to combat the likes of Murdoch and Dacre, and the Tories who they protect , then you buy the Star in order to strengthen it and commit to a partner who will speak out consistently on your behalf.
David Woolnough

Sandra Downiereply
March 02 at 09:03 PM
– In reply to: David Woolnough

That’s a great idea I will try the Morning Star…I can’t think of any newsagents that stock it but more of our friends ordered it I’m sure they would oblige Thanks for the info !!

Sheila McNultyreply
March 01 at 01:03 PM

This is an absolute disgrace & cannot be allowed to happen!

Bryn Moorereply
March 01 at 03:03 PM

So again the Tories have given in to their backers in the press! The cancellation of Levison Part 2 is a scandalous betrayal of the victims of irresponsible and twisted news reporting.

Government announces suppression of Public Inquiry into police, press and political corruption and seeks repeal of Leveson’s access to justice recommendation | Hacked Off – leftwingnobodyreply
March 01 at 05:03 PM

[…] https://hackinginquiry.org/mediareleases/gov-cancels-leveson-accesstojustice/ […]

Jennifer Hornsbyreply
March 01 at 06:03 PM

Perhaps it is what one would expect of a Government whose Lord Chancellor is not alert to the fact that the Daily Mail had undermined the rule of law in its coverage of a High Court decision. What one would expect perhaps, but still shocking. How can they claim that ISPO implements Leveson’s recommendations and is doing a good job? To Leveson, the Home Secretary and DCMS Minister say ‘the work of your Inquiry has had a huge impact on public life’. But the first part of the Inquiry has had nothing like the impact that it would have had if all the recommendations had been taken seriously and if section 40 had been introduced. And now, by cancelling the second part, the Ministers simply ignore Leveson’s telling them that the public has not been given what it was promised in Parliament.

Williamreply
March 01 at 07:03 PM

The attempts to destroy the free press foiled by the government. Huzzah!

Junereply
March 03 at 06:03 PM
– In reply to: William

Freedom of the press should never mean further victimising the victims of crime or deliberately disseminating lies or “fake” news. As for the corruption identified by Lesson, this has no place in our democracy.

Rayreply
March 01 at 08:03 PM

Like so much terribly wrong in this country, only a change of government is going to make any difference.

Colin Smithreply
March 01 at 08:03 PM

The government decisions and announcement about Leveson 2 and Section 40 is deplorable and outrageous. The decisions show no respect for the rule of law and no respect for the well publicised face to face commitments of government ministers and the Prime Minister.

This announcement also shows the lie in the Prime Minister’s statement that she wishes government to work for everyone. It seems that everyone equals the media industry and the govenment itself, not everyone else.

Appalling disregard for democracy, decency and justice.

zenon zdolynyreply
March 01 at 08:03 PM

Let’s all wake up to this whitewash and stand firm for justice. If we don’t stop them now we will have conspired with those who’s aim is to manipulate the media and take control of the direction of our society.

John Cleesereply
March 01 at 09:03 PM

Utterly disgraceful

The Prime Minister has sold victims of Press abuse down the river in exchange for the support of the right-wing Press at the next election

Under the Tories……Corruption Rules !

Eddy Bergmanreply
March 02 at 01:03 PM

I could almost think the government is being blackmailed by the newspapers.

Stevereply
March 02 at 10:03 PM

Seems like conservative politicians in Britain aren’t any different than what’s going on with the Conservatives and Republicans in the US. Party, power, and money before everything else. Is this a growing problem across the globe?

ACreply
March 03 at 01:03 AM

Please wake up people this Government will NEVER bite the hand that feeds it. A Civil suit must be brought against this Government and its lackies and huge reparation sought
This is wide spread corruption and if the media ignore this it is at their peril. For goodness sake are any of you media people going to stand up and be counted?

Tom Nortonreply
March 03 at 12:03 PM

Wicked, cruel and immoral. This government, it goes without saying, is by far the worst in our modern history. There are no depths to which it will not sink in order to leech power from our democracy. This is a fascist state in embryo.

Robert Maynardreply
March 03 at 05:03 PM

Clearly this needs a Judicial Review of this decision. It appears that Mr. Hancock’s statement has also been published on the Digital, Culture Media & Sport web site, which may take it out of the restrictions of article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1689.

Also, the jist of the decision has been published in the Consultation Report, which is certainly not “proceedings” in Parliament.

Sir Brian Leveson has also commented that there was a legitimate expectation and promise that the second part of the Leveson Inquiry would be held, made by David Cameron when he was Prime Minister. This is the same government although a different Prime Minister, and may not be subject to the Begbie “Assisted Places” JR ruling relating to opposition and then being in government.

It is well established that were a legitimate expectation is given by a public body, the courts will seek to have the public body uphold this. Perhaps Mr. Hancock and the government secretly know this, and are just trying to please the press barons and the likes of the Murdock press and Paul Dacre et al, so that if a court later orders or directs them to hold the second part of the Inquiry, they can then say, “We did our best” “nothing to do with us Gov”.

Hopefully we will now see Crowd Funding for a JR and a letter before Claim to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture Media & Sport in the next few weeks.

David Smeereply
March 05 at 09:03 PM

Press freedom has created some unlawful behaviourbut that is what the courts are for. When you have the likes of Private Eye questioning the proposals, a magazine which has no time for the press barons, then we need to review if this campaign is to free the press or muzzle it.

Michael Wardreply
March 05 at 10:03 PM

The Attorney General is covering up serious criminality committed by the Mail on Sunday. On 3rd July 2015, in the face of my threatened judicial review, he undertook to re-consider my request for an inquiry into the scandal. The Attorney General promised me a substantive response ‘within a month’. Thirty two months later, no such substantive response has been forthcoming. It is my belief that the cancelling of Leveson 2 is owed, in part at least, to the Government’s determination to keep covering up this scandal at Associated Newspapers. I have written to Paul Dacre charging him with lying to the Leveson Inquiry. I have been promised an answer next week. Leveson 2 is needed for numerous reasons, among them the need to ensure this cover up is brought to an end and that Associated Newspapers finally admits that, far from being an upholder of the law, it committed far more serious criminal offences even than News International.

Hacked Off: Stourbridge MP Margot James excludes Press, police and political corruption from investigation by new media review as Leveson 2 inquiry is scrapped – News from Stourbridgevote.orgreply
March 06 at 09:03 AM

[…] Hacked Off, a pressure group formed to campaign for the Leveson 2 inquiry with the support of past victims of phone hacking and others reacted angrily to the announcement. The group’s co-founder, journalist and academic Brian Cathcart, said: “Matthew Hancock’s announcement In the Commons gave the impression Lord Leveson himself wanted a more limited inquiry at most. […]

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