Victims of press abuse write to party leaders ahead of manifesto launches

Hacked Off Patron Christopher Jefferies and other victims of press abuse have written to party leaders seeking assurances that promises made to implement the Leveson system will be honoured.


The victims who have written have called for parties to commit to completing the Leveson Inquiry, implementing the agreed system of independent self-regulation, and restoring access to justice for the victims of press illegality.


The full letter and list of signatories:


We have been betrayed and let down by the actions of governments over the last four years who have failed to address the absence of independent regulation of the press across the UK and failed to complete the Leveson Inquiry.

Ministers have preferred to maintain their cosy relationships with press editors and executives rather than to keep their promises to press victims and to the public to implement Leveson’s system of independent regulation, and complete his Inquiry.

The result has been that thousands of ordinary people up and down the country who have been affected by newspaper abuses and, in the absence of an independent regulator, have been left with nowhere to turn.  Those of us affected by newspaper criminality and corruption have been denied justice.


We urge you to end press abuse, and commit in your party manifesto to:


  • Introduce Leveson’s recommended system of independent regulation for all national newspapers
  • Commit to allowing the Inquiry to finish its work as Sir Brian called for
  • Restore access to justice for ordinary people suing national newspapers for libel or intrusion[i]


We hope you will have the courage to stand up for the public against this powerful industry, where recent Prime Ministers have not.


Yours sincerely,


Christopher Jefferies

Victim of libels and other press abuses after being wrongly accused of the murder of Joanna Yeates.

Tricia Bernal

Mother of Clare Bernal, who was murdered by a stalker.  Subjected to press intrusions, abuses and phone hacking.

Alastair Morgan

Campaigner for Justice for Daniel Morgan; brother of Daniel.

Gerry and Kate McCann

Victims of press intrusion and libel, Leveson witnesses.

Figen Murray

 Mother of Martyn Hett who lost his life in the Manchester Arena attack. Harassed by journalists.

Danielle Hindley

Businesswoman and mother smeared in the Mail on Sunday; IPSO failed her.

Maire Messenger-Davies and John Davies

Friends of 7/7 victim; victims of hacking.

Jacqui Hames

Former Crimewatch presenter, victim of hacking & surveillance, intrusion & defamation.

Juliet Shaw

Smeared by the Daily Mail who told her she could not afford to sue.

John Tulloch 

7/7 survivor, who was a victim of hacking and press misuse of image.

Emily Brothers

Victim of press abuse and then victimisation; IPSO failed her.

Jane Winter

Northern Ireland human rights campaigner, victim of computer hacking.

Paul Dadge

On the scene of 7/7 attack to assist victims; victim of phone hacking.


Further signatories have chosen to remain anonymous.

[i] A key element of Conditional Fee Arrangements for media cases (the recoverability of success fees) was ended by the Government in April 2019.  Viable CFAs are essential to protecting access to justice for the victims of press illegality.


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Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Richard Yoellreply
November 19, 2019 at 5:38 pm

I agree that this government has not fulfilled its promise to complete the Leveson enquiry recommendations. Whilst there are occasions when”In the public interest ” should prevail and be printed, but the ratio of these to the illegal publication of lies and press harassment are grotesquely unbalanced. We have an overwhelmingly right wing ownership of the “Popular Press” They seem to operate on the basis of “provide titillation and trivia” to the masses interspersed with their crude and cruel character assassination of many individuals who’s misfortune is to have been drawn into a “newsworthy occurrence.” When Rupert Murdoch closed down the News Of the World over the disgraceful phone hacking controversy, I saw no sign of remorse. His main reaction of anger was that he was caught red handed, or his minion reporters, acting on his instructions were.
The present government gets an overwhelmingly positive press therefore it is unsurprising that they do nothing. With some noticeable exceptions, Boris Johnson’s litany of lies and contortions of facts are ignored. Some in those exception are making lists of them. Unfortunately they will be preaching to the converted who don’t need reminding of his duplicity. Change the government and there will be a better chance to complete Leveson’s unfinished work. (You leave insufficient room for a full

Pat McKennareply
November 19, 2019 at 5:42 pm

So the vulnerable, the traumatised, and those without wealth have no access to viable CFAs in order to correct the lies of the media and politicians. This is institutionalised victim blaming via the Illusory Truth Effect – say it often enough and loud enough and it becomes the reality for the readers of their papers. How can a Western democracy tolerate a government that supports this system? How does this differ from Russia, or China, or any other autocratic system? We have to have CFAs and we have to have an independent regulatory body.

pip rylandreply
November 19, 2019 at 5:53 pm

Has Jeremy Corbyn seen the letter. If so it will be good that he can hit Boris with it tonight? Or does the presenter , Julie etchingham need to have the question to put to them both?

Robert Vinesreply
November 19, 2019 at 6:55 pm

I wish you every success, the press urgently require oversight that will prevent their present excesses.

Christopher Whitmeyreply
November 19, 2019 at 7:13 pm

“Conditional Fee Arrangements for media cases (the recoverability of success fees) was ended by the Government in April 2019.”
Does this relate in any way to Crime & Courts Act 2013 s. 40 requirement “(4) The Secretary of State must take steps to put in place arrangements for protecting the position in costs of parties to relevant claims who have entered into agreements under section 58 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990.”?
For instance does it amount to the Secretary of State having taken such steps?

November 19, 2019 at 7:51 pm

You lot just brush me under the carpet, I had my phone hacked in the 90s went to the police in London I must be the first person to report it and tell sir Brian Leveson that?

Alison Evansreply
November 21, 2019 at 8:14 am

I support the call for the implementation of Leveson 2 and having a proper independent regulator for people to go to when they suffer from press abuse. A free press is vital but not at the expense of abuse of these rights by press intrusion and harassment. It is time for something to be done NOW to protect individuals and to stand up to the powerful industry.

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