You can read 9 more articles this month
CAMPAIGNERS for press freedom criticised the government today for ditching its second half of the Leveson Inquiry.
Free Press editor Tim Gopsill said that the decision had been made by Culture Secretary Matt Hancock to protect newspaper barons responsible for the phone-hacking scandal, the vilification of minority groups and decline of the local press due to job cuts.
Mr Hancock claimed that Leveson II had been scrapped to protect media freedom on the grounds that further investigation and the implementation of section 40 of the 2013 Crime and Courts Act would damage the press and quicken the demise of the industry.
Leveson II was due to look into unlawful conduct within media organisations as well as relations between police and the press.
Mr Hancock also announced that the government would not put into effect a widely criticised requirement for media organisations to sign up with a state-backed regulator or risk having to pay the legal costs of both sides of a libel case, even if they won.
Ministers will seek to repeal the measure “at the earliest opportunity”, he told MPs.
He said reopening the “costly and time-consuming” inquiry was not “the right way forward.”
Section 40 poses “no threat at all to responsible journalists who are prepared to treat their readers fairly,” Mr Gopsill stressed.
The Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom attacked the government’s decision, saying it was “based on lies” and only protects press owners.
It was also revealed today that Sir Brian Leveson had urged the government to start the second part of the inquiry — though he could not preside over it himself because of his workload — because the public had been promised a full probe.
Hacked Off campaign group director Dr Evan Harris said: “This is probably the first time that a government has overruled the views of the judicial chair of a statutory inquiry by cancelling an inquiry against his will.”
Labour’s shadow culture secretary Tom Watson described the decision as “a bitter blow to the victims of press intrusion.”
He added: “The Tories have betrayed all those who have been and will be victims of press intrusion and instead capitulated to pressure from their powerful allies in the media.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.