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

 

13 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. Anita Hunt

    Numbering and wording on the form has been altered slightly.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Brigid Gardner

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

  12. 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/

  13. 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.