Hacked Off Press Conference: Statements by Jacqui Hames and Anne Diamond

Below are transcripts of statements by Jacqui Hames and Anne Diamond, taken from this afternoon’s press conference by Hacked Off.

Jacqui Hames, a former Metropolitan Police detective, presented BBC1’s Crimewatch between 1990 and 2006. She was placed under surveillance by News of the World in 2002 after her then husband, also a Metropolitan Police detective, appeared on the programme to appeal for information in an unsolved murder case. She gave evidence at the Leveson Inquiry as a core participant victim. She told today’s press conference:

“I have a message for the Prime Minister.

Mr Cameron. You made a promise to us – the victims of press harassment and intrusion. You said under oath, and I quote:

‘The test of a regulatory system is not does that make the politicians happier? The test of the system is: Is it going to provide proper protection to ordinary families who, through no fault of their own, get caught up in these media maelstroms and get completely mistreated?’

You added:

‘It’s not: do the politicians or the press feel happy with what we get? It’s: are we really protecting people who have been caught up and absolutely thrown to the wolves by this process. That’s what the test is.’

What you said could not have been clearer.

But what we have seen since Leveson has been nothing like what you promised.

From the point of view of the victims, you and your advisers at Number Ten are giving every indication that you are preparing a cosy stitch-up with the newspaper editors and owners.

A clear attempt is being made to sideline and ignore us, the victims – the people you said had been thrown to the wolves by press abuse.

The people like me who’ve already suffered abuse – and the Dowlers and the McCanns – they were prepared to relive some of their worst miseries to give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry.

We did that so that in future other people wouldn’t have to go through the same thing again. If you carry on pursuing your shady deal with the editors and owners, all that will have all been for nothing.

I sincerely hope that we are wrong.

But we will not forget the promise you made and we will continue to fight for lasting reform that gives real protection to the public.”

The journalist and broadcaster, Anne Diamond also gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry as a core participant victim. She told the Inquiry that Rupert Murdoch’s editors had waged a vendetta against her after she asked him (in an interview) how he slept at night knowing that newspapers ruined people’s lives.

Speaking at today’s Hacked Off press conference, she said:

“I’m here, because like so many people, I’m worried that the recommendations of the Leveson report are going to be sidelined by other arguments which may in fact be spurious.

Such as, for example, that the statutory underpinning amounts to state regulation and that any regulation means a threat to press freedom. I trained as a print journalist but I have spent most of my career as a broadcaster. Never though, never have I, nor any of my colleagues felt unduly restricted by the regulations of, for instance, OFCOM, or the BBC governing body, and a lot of fine journalism has gone on in the broadcast media.

What Leveson proposed amounted to nothing like that sort of regulation, the sort of regulation the broadcasters have to operate under. As for many people who consider themselves victims of the worst press intrusion and harassment, I know it wasn’t easy to appear before the Leveson inquiry, in fact it was stomach-churningly nerve-wracking and involved raking up a lot of upsetting and very distressing memories and incidents. But we did it because it was really important to try and find a way forward that would still give us a free press, but also rein in the worst of press behaviour, and stop their behaviour bespoiling the name of the British press.

The Leveson Inquiry cost some £7m which must not be allowed to be a waste of money. I simply call upon all politicians of all parties and persuasions to stick by what they’ve already said; to stick by their word, to implement the Leveson proposals.”

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Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Máire Messenger Daviesreply
December 17, 2012 at 05:12 PM

Well said both. Don’t give up. There’s a lot of public momentum behind your campaign. It’s good to focus on Cameron’s promise under oath too – keep reminding him of that.

gary urquhartreply
December 17, 2012 at 06:12 PM

I complained at the time that Leveson was going to be a £5 million “public flogging” and then nothing would change. We need to redouble efforts to make our politicians face up to their responsibilities. It seems clear the current government are just “kicking the can down the street” until they are no longer in power.

Edel Sunde Hinsereply
December 17, 2012 at 06:12 PM

Yessss!, well said!!!! Brave ladies!!! Creepy DC…..
Go girls,go! Don,t give up, we,ll keep on supporting You!!

Eric Gillettreply
December 17, 2012 at 07:12 PM

We all know that our politicians are corrupt. Remember this and do not forget. Come the next general election, do not vote for any of the major parties. Maybe we will get another group of corrupt politicians but at least they will be a different group. Don’t forget!

December 17, 2012 at 07:12 PM

Like so many other ordinary people who, thankfully, were not directly affected by this scandal, I have nothing but admiration for those who gave evidence and relived very difficult experiences in front of that inquiry. David Cameron and others who were keen to appear to be on the side of the victims at the outset are now back-pedalling furiously in order to stay sweet with the over-powerful press. Sadly not in the least surprising but a despicable betrayal and a powerful indicator of duplicity and overriding self interest.

Keith Rowleyreply
December 17, 2012 at 08:12 PM

The press must be made to change as they need to be accountable and should not be able to ruin people lives. The treatment some people have received from them is simply awful. David Cameron said he would back the report unless it was barking mad. The report is a fair and reasonable so why is he dithering. We the public need this much much more than same sex marriages so my message is get a grip and listen for once.

December 17, 2012 at 11:12 PM

All power to Hacked Off. Cameron PROMISED UNDER OATH and is prepared to casually break that promise. Has he had the courage to meet with the Dowlers or McCann’s SINCE his statement in the Commons rejecting statutory underpinning, I wonder? (And by the way, does anyone else smell a rat re: the tabloids quickly shifting the blame for the suicide of Kate’s nurse over to Australia…? Nothing to do with harrassment by British tabloid hacks…???)

Shahid Khanreply
December 20, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Never give up. Keep fighting against the American-owned media based in the UK.

January 14, 2013 at 03:01 PM

This is such a serious concern I can,t express my gratitude enough who keep the momentem going on this. They would and are hoping for a long grass scenario.

Thanks so much….. An ordinary citizen from the uk

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