Guide on how to respond to the Consultation

Posted: December 13, 2016 at 3:06 pm

Please help in one of two ways, either click here to send a template response or fill out the online response form on gov.uk by following the instructions below.

Instructions:

  1. Respondents should go to the consultation homepage at:  https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-the-leveson-inquiry-and-its-implementation

  2. Scroll down to ‘Respond Online’ and click on the link

  3. Introduction – click ‘Next’ at bottom of the page

  4. Q1– tick box ‘Individual’ (not ‘Organisation’) and ignore Q2

  5. Q3 – tick the box which is relevant (lawyer/academic/neither)

 

Questions on section 40:

Q4 “Which of the following statements do you agree with?”tick box 2 ‘Government should fully commence s.40 now’

Q5 “Do you have evidence in support of your view?”  tick box ‘yes’

Q6 “Please provide the evidence which supports your view”

Answer (max 250 words):

This consultation is no substitute for Leveson’s 15-month inquiry which concluded, after receiving evidence from hundreds of expert witnesses, that that there should be new costs rules to incentivise publishers to join a recognised regulator.

Parliament enacted section 40 on the basis that it would be commenced, not that commencement was discretionary.

On the contrary, the Government promised the public and Parliament many times that the incentives in the cross-party agreement would be delivered.

Victims of press abuse need access to justice to take action against those newspapers who have not accepted Leveson style approved regulation. S.40 delivers that.

It is clear that many newspapers will not sign up to independent regulation without powerful incentives.

Members and prospective members of IMPRESS need and expect section 40 costs protection, and the full of extent of any s40 competitive advantage against unregulated publications.

The regulatory landscape has not changed significantly since 2013 – IPSO is not recognised and falls well short of the standards set out by Leveson and the Royal Charter.

The press industry has provided no hard evidence to back up their claims that:

– unregulated local newspapers would face a flood of legitimate court claims and adverse costs awards, under section 40

– local newspapers would face a flood of arbitral claims if they joined a recognised regulator, and in any event the Charter protects them from financial damage.

The suspension, amendment or proposed repeal of section 40 constitutes clear Government interference in press regulation policy, which damages the public interest.

 

Q7 “To what extent will full commencement incentivise publishers to join a recognised regulator?”

Answer:

The only way to know is to commence section 40.  No-one can say whether an incentive will prove effective. The nature of an incentive as opposed to compulsion is that the effect cannot be definitively known before it is in place.  We need s40 in place to know if self-regulation can still work.

 

Questions on Part II of the Leveson Inquiry

Q8 “Do you believe that the terms of reference of Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry have already been covered by Part 1 and the criminal investigations?”Answer ‘no’

Q9 “Which terms do you think still require further investigation?” –  Answer: tick all of the boxes

Q10  “If you have evidence to support your answer, please provide details below.”

Answer (max 250 words):

All the terms of reference still need tackling, and since Part 1 and Part 2 were established, the case for Part 2 has strengthened in a number of ways:

  1. New evidence has emerged about a range of abuses and criminal conduct that took place at the News of the World, The Sun and newspapers owned by other companies
  2. There has been a finding by a High Court judge in May 2015 (Gulati vs MGN Ltd) that executives from Trinity Mirror actively misled Leveson Part 1 under oath
  3. Evidence exists from new whistle-blowers that other witnesses to the Inquiry’s first phase gave false or wrong evidence
  4. Following the inquest verdicts of unlawful killing, Hillsborough families deserve to know the truth about the role of the press and the police in the cover up
  5. Daniel Morgan’s family agreed to the terms of a non-judicial Inquiry Panel into his murder, understanding that any questions that were left unanswered would be dealt with by Leveson Part 2, led by a judge with the powers to compel witnesses and gather evidence
  6. No executives have been properly held to account for the corrupt payment scandals, while more junior journalists were prosecuted
  7. Mazher Mahmood’s convictions reveal his evidence to Phase 1 of the Inquiry to be false, and there is evidence that the police knew this
  8. Victims and whistle-blowers were told that their evidence was essential to the Inquiry but could not be considered until Part Two

 

Q11 “Which of the following options best represent your views?” Answer: Tick the first box ‘Continue the Inquiry with the original or amended Terms of Reference’

Q12 “If you think the Government should take another course of action to those set out in the question above, please provide your views.

Answer:

The Government should continue with Leveson 2 with the same Terms of Reference as was promised to the Dowler family in 2011.  If the Government have any intention of breaking their commitments over Leveson 2, including to alter the Terms of Reference, then they should seek the consent of the Dowler family and others to whom that promise was made in 2011.

It is only after Leveson Part 2 is completed that OfCom would be properly able to make any new assessment of whether James Murdoch, the Chairman of Sky, and the CEO of Fox Inc (which owns either 39% or 100% of Sky depending on the merger outcome) is “fit and proper” to hold a broadcast licence.

 

Click ‘Done’ to submit your response

Confirmation screen

 

21 comments

  1. Chris Turner

    The suggestion that the implementation of S.40 and the completion of part 2 of the enquiry depend on “evidence” seems quite troubling. There was an all-party commitment to carry out the enquiry and to implement its major recommendations. The suggestion that this commitment of principle could somehow be overturned by new “evidence” is what philosophers might term a category error. If “Brexit means Brexit”, then Leveson means Leveson.

  2. M.hodges

    Implement leveson part two now.

  3. M.hodges

    implement leveson part two.

  4. Mick Barneyy

    Murdock owns the Tory party. We’ve tried, but May is going to quash this.

  5. Mary and Brian Jeeves

    It is vitally important to retain the freedom of the press in this democratic country.l believe implementation of section40 would seriously damage the press’s ability to hold power to account .There is no need to investigate any further after completing the leveson one and the criminal investigation. Levison two should be terminated

  6. Keith Ballard

    An extra question has been added on the survey form which upsets the numbering used here, but it’s still 99% obvious how to fill in the details. I’ve just submitted my comments. I hope the pressure is enough to force Leveson Part 2 to go ahead.

  7. Teddy Johnson

    Done.

    No where to let them know how it is OK for a main stream newspaper to print lies about and harass an autistic relative of mine, to the point they tried suicide – if anyone did that to someone on the street they would be news themselves!

    We urgently need responsible journalism

  8. John Pollock

    So an unelected body full of left-wingers would be responsible for free speech in the press? Welcome to backdoor Marxism and the rise of the social justice warrior.

  9. Anita Hunt

    Numbering and wording on the form has been altered slightly.

  10. Keith Dancey

    Public faith in the political process and the printed press depend upon the implementation of Leveson Part 2. The public are not as stupid as the Establishment think and failure will lead us further down a route they will not like.

  11. Alastair Thomas

    The British press has been too long under the control of enemy aliens (e.g. Murdoch) and/or tax exiles (Barclay brothers, Northcliffe). Their interests are, on some crucial issues, inimical to the British national interest. It is time their excesses were curbed.

  12. Andrew Higgs

    URGENT The numbering of questions in the online consultation is not the same as your suggestion above – at least as far an ‘an individual’ is concerned.

  13. Anthony Gainsford

    Quite frankly, which wrong do you prefer? The governments overblown and expensive response employing cronies, independent? Leveson? Or the specious rubbish printed by journalists?

    Do you really question the whole SKY situation? Or do we (Press dependent politicians) just want the leverage?

    Having listened to your representative, (Hacked off,) speaking with John Humphrys, the interview, Radio 4 “Today”, 23 Dec, just what was the point?

    The BBC in many opinions, who are in fact, just radio journalists, rather than press, of course are entirely biased. Acting under the “Board” is part of the same “Tea and cakes committee game”, self voted, protected and self aggrandizing autocracy as the Government and British politicians today.

    The one and only truth in all of this, that your representative, speaking with Humphrys this morning, I believe was trying to say; is the law is too expensive, to be used by the people, and only by the autocracy. If so, on that point, I would entirely agree.

    The “Law however” would not in my experience, work for such miserly fees as would undoubtedly be granted the people, by the government, who after all, have nothing to gain other than “Popularity”.

    Independent, don’t make me laugh.

    However who should be able to speak for the wronged, is an entirely different matter and too important to be left to the present establishment pariahs.

  14. John Cannan

    The UK has an incredibly badly behaved and unaccountable press which can only get worse with the re-emergence of the ‘Murdoch’ cohort.

    Leveson was initiated as a result of the worst kind of press abuse of its power. Sensible, logical recommendations were made which I believe are supported by the vast majority of people. Why oh why are they not being implemented in full? Oh, I forgot, the massive corporations that run our news services have an undue influence over our rule makers. Even on the BC Today program, John Humphreys will only focus on the ‘unfairness’ of media organisations having to pay costs in a court case even if they win, whilst not seeming to understand the need to protect ordinary people from the risks associated with taking on these hugely powerful organisations in the courts. The recommendation to implement a fair low cost arbitration service is surely beneficial to both sides. As the old saying goes, the judicial system in this country is open to all just like The Ritz.

  15. Julie Denning

    I’m quite an avid listening to Radio 4’s Today programme, but am occasionally dismayed at the way John Humphreys can misunderstand, or relentlessly pursue, some absurd point. His interview this morning of Karen Bradley was a case in point. He pushed the conclusion that no reasonable person could support a situation whereby a media organisation could win a case in court yet be forced to pay the legal expenses of the complainant. At no time did he point out that this situation would only arise if the organisation involved refused to sign up for independent regulation. Any listener unfamiliar with the full argument would have been grossly mislead. The interview can be heard on the BBC radio iplayer, with the item starting at around 08:10.

  16. Brian Higginson

    I’ve just completed the questionnaire to this sham “consultation”. Hopefully it won’t be needed and there will be a judicial review of the decision to hold this.

  17. Brigid Gardner

    Is there anything that this government would not stoop to?I

  18. Harold Evans

    Sir Harold Evans
    Outrageous if this new government betrays the promises made. The public interest and honour require that Leveson Part 2 is completed/

  19. roger smith

    It is a disgrace that the government are even carrying out this survey in an attempt to wriggle out of confrontation with the press barons.

  20. Paul Geddes

    Sorry, predictive text foul-ups. That should have read:

    This is willful leading of witnesses, designed to destroy freedom of the press. The things which people went to jail for were illegal already. The victims of phone hacking have a right to feel injured and abused, but the majority of the guilty parties have been brought face to face with their guilt already. Max Moseley’s plan will result in the death of investigative journalism and will result in more cover ups and less accountability, as papers avoid serious issues where guilty parties might sue them for publishing, knowing the papers will have to pay up, whether it is right or not. That would be fundamentally corrupt.

    Be very careful what you wish for.

  21. Paul Geddes

    This is willful leading of witnesses, designed to destroy freedom of the press. The things which people went to jail for were illegal already. The victims of phone hacking have a right to feel injured and abused, but the majority of the guilty parties have been brought face to face with their guilt already. Max Moseley’s plan will result in the death of investigative journalism and will result in more cover ups and lass accountability, as papers avoid serious issues where guilty parting might sue them for publishing, knowing the paper will have to pay up, whether it is right or not. That would be fundamentally corrupt.

    Be very careful what you wish for.