Press Release: Hacked Off react to today’s Ministerial Statement on implementation of Leveson

Reacting to the news that the Secretary of State the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP announced a consultation on press regulation, Hacked Off Joint Executive Director Dr Evan Harris said:

“Many of the victims of press abuse were thrust into the media spotlight after tragic circumstances, and gave evidence over 18 months to Lord Leveson reliving the traumas they suffered.  Today’s announcement of a further consultation from the Secretary of State is a disgraceful attempt to force them to go through that all over again.”

“This “consultation” is no more than an attempt by the Government to re-run the Leveson Inquiry, but with a conflicted Government Minister replacing an independent Judge.  That is the last way decisions over press regulation should be taken.”

On the possible cancellation of Leveson Part Two, Dr Evan Harris said:

“The postponement and potential cancellation of Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry is an outrageous betrayal of promises made to victims of press abuse and to the British people by the former Prime Ministers.  Leveson Part Two is to look into evidence of corruption into police and the press, and a series of cover-ups.  It is almost unthinkable that a Prime Minister who claims to be willing to stand up to police and corporate interests would even consider postponing let alone cancelling an inquiry into cover-ups and corruption in our major national institutions.  This consultation will not change the fact that the Government gives every impression of being in hock to powerful press interests and ignoring not just the victims of press abuse, but the fact that promises were made under oath at a public inquiry and to Parliament in the Cross-Party Agreement.”

On the continuing interference to block the commencement of section 40 through another consultation, Dr Evan Harris said:

“Section 40 was an integral part of the Leveson recommendations and to provide access to justice for those seeking to sue a newspaper for libel or intrusion.  This unnecessary consultation is an attempt to head off a rebellion by the Government’s own backbenchers and opposition in the House of Lords over the Government’s caving to Rupert Murdoch and his fellow proprietors.  It is more than 5 years since the Government allowed a criminal newspaper editor into the heart of Downing Street, and the Government’s current approach suggests that the malign influence of the press barons and those who would cover up press wrongdoing is very much alive in Whitehall.”

 

Notes

Hacked Off is the campaign for a free and accountable press.  The Campaign works with victims of press abuse to achieve those aims.

PRESS ENQUIRIES AND INTERVIEWS: press@hackinginquiry.org or call Nathan Sparkes on 07554 665 940

We rely on people like you to make a difference.

Give now to support the campaign for a free and accountable press.

 
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12 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Paul Fraserreply
November 1, 2016 at 7:17 pm

“Consultation my arse” Jim Royle

David Suttonreply
November 1, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Leveson needs implementing

Rosalind Wilkinsonreply
November 1, 2016 at 9:06 pm

This is outrageous! Perhaps someone in the government is being blackmailed by Murdoch? That’s the only conclusion I can take from this shameful announcement.

Phil gurareply
November 1, 2016 at 10:18 pm

We have the tee-shirt from previous attempts. Let’s recognise she is under pressure. The public info will mean she can never become someone we can admire.

What a climb down by Government UK!

Phil

John Toomeyreply
November 2, 2016 at 8:53 am

It’s no surprise that Murdoch and co have got the politicians back in their pockets. Every action that tries to expose the corruption and abuse will be resisted by the media. We must use the internet to inform and empower people. We are many: they are few!

John Islipreply
November 2, 2016 at 11:01 am

Government proposals for yet another press inquiry, their refusal to implement section 40, and the probable cancellation of Leveson Part 2 are absolutely disgraceful.

Evidence of the malign influence of the press barons and the government’s dirty back-room deals with them is all around.

Consider the following sequence:

Monday 31 October:
—————————
The Sun runs a front-page story about migrant welfare claimants with eight children moving into a 4-bedroom house worth £425k at tax-payer expense.

Tuesday 1 November
—————————-
The story is picked up by The Express (who else?!) and other tabloids who repeat this as front-page “news”.

This widely-repeated story carries two themes helpful to the government:

1) The “bad immigrants” theme strengthens the hand of the hard Brexit tendency, and cheers their wealthy supporters who also donate to the Tory party.

2) The “welfare scroungers” theme softens up the public for…

… the introduction on 7 November of the new benefit cap, and a report from the Chartered Institute of Housing saying that the drastic cuts will plunge 300,000 children into even deeper poverty.

So, the press has done the government a favour by widely reporting a ludicrous “bad immigrant / welfare scrounger” story.

What does the government do in return? Simples:

Late on Tuesday the Culture secretary announces a new investigation into the press, and the probable delay / cancellation of Leveson part 2.

This is a reward to the press who:

a) Don’t want anything to do with Leveson

b) just want to go on behaving as badly as they did while hacking Millie Dowlers phone.

Do I read too much into this sequence of events?

I think not.

Wilf Forrowreply
November 2, 2016 at 8:49 pm

Teresa May runs the most powerful government of recent times, and she’s thrown the press enough BrExit red meat to feed them for life. The Leveson law has already been passed – it just needs signing. If now now, when?

John Smithreply
November 7, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Implement Levison 2 NOW.

jimreply
November 7, 2016 at 3:41 pm

I note the consultation page has an E mail address for comments. May i suggest you supply a pro forma answer for folk to copy. i know how i feel but folk find these things hard to express… hate the daily mail sounds too simple

MR A P MILESreply
November 10, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Leverson’s Investigation and Report was quite extensive.

ALL of his Recommendations should be followed, unless there are majorly good reasons why not.

MR A P MILESreply
November 10, 2016 at 3:17 pm

For anyone who doesn’t know, IPSO is the new PCC and it onlu upholds a small number of the Leverson Recommendations

Kevin Rafteryreply
November 19, 2016 at 11:52 am

IPSO upholds almost nothing. For example, try informing them about a breach of their own Editors’ Code. They will reply that you cannot bring up the subject unless you, personally, were the victim of the breach. That’s like the Crown Prosecution Service deciding not to prosecute an arsonist unless the home owner files a lawsuit.

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