Leveson report causes great divide

Daily Echo: Lord Justice Leveson and his report Lord Justice Leveson and his report

POLITICIANS, campaigners and media executives were divided last night over Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations for reform of the press.

After an inquiry into press standards lasting more than a year, the Appeal Court judge called for the establishment of a muscular new independent regulatory body, backed by legislation, with the power to require prominent apologies and impose fines of as much as £1m.

The recommendations exposed deep divisions within the Government.

Prime Minister David Cameron voiced “serious concerns and misgivings” about legislative action, and said the press should be given “a limited period of time” to show it could get its house in order. But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he believed Leveson’s model could be “proportionate and workable” and insisted Parliament should push ahead without delay.

Labour leader Ed Miliband urged MPs to “have faith” in Leveson and said he would move for a vote in the Commons by the end of January to approve Leveson’s proposals, with the aim of getting the new system in place by 2015.

Lord Justice Leveson’s 16-month inquiry was prompted by the disclosure that News of the World journalists hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, and his 2,400-page report pulled no punches in condemning the behaviour of elements within the newspaper industry.

The press had repeatedly acted as if its own code of conduct “simply did not exist”, and “wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people”, he said.

He left no doubt that the existing model of voluntary self-regulation under the Press Complaints Commission had failed, and rejected proposals for a beefed-up regulator put forward by industry figures.

Crucially, he said that a new regulatory body should be given legal under-pinning, with statutory regulator Ofcom given the responsibility of certifying it complies with legislation.

Victims of press intrusion broadly welcomed Lord Leveson’s proposals, and voiced dismay at Mr Cameron’s stance.

Solicitor Mark Lewis, who represents the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, said the PM had failed the victims of phone hacking.

“Cautious optimism lasted for about 45 minutes and then the Prime Minister spoke and said he is not going to implement a report that he instigated,” he said.

Lord Leveson heavily criticised politicians for becoming too cosy with the media, but cleared Mr Cameron of doing a deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News International of policy favours in return for positive coverage. And he said there was no credible evidence that Cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt was biased in favour of Mr Murdoch over his bid to take over BSkyB, though he failed properly to supervise an adviser who got too close to lobbyists.

The judge blamed a “series of poor decisions, poorly executed”

by the Metropolitan Police for contributing to perceptions that officers were initially reluctant to investigate phone hacking. But he said he had seen no reason to doubt the integrity of the police and senior officers concerned.

Presenting his report, Lord Justice Leveson insisted that what he was recommending did not amount to statutory regulation of the press.

“What is proposed here is independent regulation of the press, organised by the press, with a statutory verification process to ensure that the required levels of independence and effectiveness are met by the system in order for publishers to take advantage of the benefits arising as a result of membership,” he said.

Highlighting the Dowler case, Lord Justice Leveson said: “There has been a recklessness in prioritising sensational stories, almost irrespective of the harm that the stories may cause and the rights of those who would be affected (perhaps in a way that can never be remedied) all the while heedless of the public interest.”

In a statement to the House of Commons, Mr Cameron told MPs he welcomed plans for a new self-regulatory body, and said the onus was on the press to implement them. But he voiced “serious concerns and misgivings”

about Lord Leveson’s judgment that the scheme required legislative underpinning.

“We should, I believe, be wary of any legislation which has the potential to infringe free speech and a free press,” said the Prime Minister. “In this House, which has been a bulwark of democracy for centuries, we should think very, very carefully before crossing this line.”

Daily Echo: Leveson

Comments (16)

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10:25am Fri 30 Nov 12

Inform Al says...

I don't know about deep divisions in the gumment. From what I've seen on the telly most MPs of all parties wish to see Levesons recommendations followed to the letter. Of course our newspapers will wish to put their own slant on the issue.
I don't know about deep divisions in the gumment. From what I've seen on the telly most MPs of all parties wish to see Levesons recommendations followed to the letter. Of course our newspapers will wish to put their own slant on the issue. Inform Al
  • Score: 0

11:06am Fri 30 Nov 12

summercat says...

Call me simple, but what is the point of spending millions on this enquiry, when the recommendations and findings are already up for dispute?
Call me simple, but what is the point of spending millions on this enquiry, when the recommendations and findings are already up for dispute? summercat
  • Score: 0

11:08am Fri 30 Nov 12

Shoong says...

Got to be real careful here. A free press is one of the corner stones of democracy.
Got to be real careful here. A free press is one of the corner stones of democracy. Shoong
  • Score: 0

11:13am Fri 30 Nov 12

Lone Ranger. says...

Strange that Slippery Dave doesnt want any form of legislation re the press.
.
Does he think his chums like Brookes and Coulson will ever be involved in the media again ........ Or is it possible that there could be a few untold stories yet to surface.
.
The press have been given too many "second chances" and have proven time again that voluntary regulation does not work.
.
Slipprey Dave ordered the enquiry at a cost in excess of £4m the least he can do it implement it
Strange that Slippery Dave doesnt want any form of legislation re the press. . Does he think his chums like Brookes and Coulson will ever be involved in the media again ........ Or is it possible that there could be a few untold stories yet to surface. . The press have been given too many "second chances" and have proven time again that voluntary regulation does not work. . Slipprey Dave ordered the enquiry at a cost in excess of £4m the least he can do it implement it Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

11:44am Fri 30 Nov 12

Shoong says...

'Slipprey Dave ordered the enquiry at a cost in excess of £4m the least he can do it implement it'

So you would rather he left it as the status quo then, which has admitted is unacceptable. Whatever happens, your not going to be happy, are you?
'Slipprey Dave ordered the enquiry at a cost in excess of £4m the least he can do it implement it' So you would rather he left it as the status quo then, which has admitted is unacceptable. Whatever happens, your not going to be happy, are you? Shoong
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Lone Ranger. says...

Shoong wrote:
'Slipprey Dave ordered the enquiry at a cost in excess of £4m the least he can do it implement it'

So you would rather he left it as the status quo then, which has admitted is unacceptable. Whatever happens, your not going to be happy, are you?
As long as you're happy thats all you need to worry about.
.
What is the point .... he commissions it but doesnt want to run with it.
.
Quite happy to show the "crocodile tears" to people like the Dowlers and the McCanns but when push comes to shove he bottles it .... well so far anyway.
[quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: 'Slipprey Dave ordered the enquiry at a cost in excess of £4m the least he can do it implement it' So you would rather he left it as the status quo then, which has admitted is unacceptable. Whatever happens, your not going to be happy, are you?[/p][/quote]As long as you're happy thats all you need to worry about. . What is the point .... he commissions it but doesnt want to run with it. . Quite happy to show the "crocodile tears" to people like the Dowlers and the McCanns but when push comes to shove he bottles it .... well so far anyway. Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Fri 30 Nov 12

southy says...

The News Media needs to be broken up, a law should be made that no owner of one kind of news media should be allowed to own any other kind of news media.
The News Media needs to be broken up, a law should be made that no owner of one kind of news media should be allowed to own any other kind of news media. southy
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Fri 30 Nov 12

southy says...

Shoong wrote:
Got to be real careful here. A free press is one of the corner stones of democracy.
You lost that corner stone years ago, News media is very much in control of one group "Sky News"(Murdock) you have lost that independant news reporter a long time ago.
[quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: Got to be real careful here. A free press is one of the corner stones of democracy.[/p][/quote]You lost that corner stone years ago, News media is very much in control of one group "Sky News"(Murdock) you have lost that independant news reporter a long time ago. southy
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Shoong says...

southy wrote:
Shoong wrote:
Got to be real careful here. A free press is one of the corner stones of democracy.
You lost that corner stone years ago, News media is very much in control of one group "Sky News"(Murdock) you have lost that independant news reporter a long time ago.
Yes Peter, I think we are well aware what kind of state controlled media you'd like to see, one that extols the righteous virtues of Socialism in constant propaganda reels and how the glorious and great leaders look down from their luxury penthouse suits on the dear brothers below while the supermarket shelves gather dust rather than food and collective misery is one for all, and all for one.
Two things are for sure, there wouldn't be anything like the Leveson report and 'phone tapping in Socialist states is the norm anyway, except it's for everyone.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: Got to be real careful here. A free press is one of the corner stones of democracy.[/p][/quote]You lost that corner stone years ago, News media is very much in control of one group "Sky News"(Murdock) you have lost that independant news reporter a long time ago.[/p][/quote]Yes Peter, I think we are well aware what kind of state controlled media you'd like to see, one that extols the righteous virtues of Socialism in constant propaganda reels and how the glorious and great leaders look down from their luxury penthouse suits on the dear brothers below while the supermarket shelves gather dust rather than food and collective misery is one for all, and all for one. Two things are for sure, there wouldn't be anything like the Leveson report and 'phone tapping in Socialist states is the norm anyway, except it's for everyone. Shoong
  • Score: 0

2:11pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Paramjit Bahia says...

Free Press is one of the most important parts of democratic society. Must be valued.

Unfortunately although the same lot who often very rightly love reminding the society that with every right there is a responsibility attached to it, under the good name of ‘Press Freedom’ behaved so obnoxiously that even a self confessed close friend of likes of Brooks and admirer of Rupert Murdoch prime minister Cameron found the situation so much full of stink that he had to order an inquiry.

Lord Leveson has now rightly pointed out that unprincipled people involved in press were given more than enough rope by various inquiries and commissions over last few decades, but rather than improving their standards they have kept on abusing the freedoms.

So in honourable judge’s view something must be done, to make the low lifers who have virtually hijacked profession of journalism, can be made to behave in slightly civilised manner.

If there is anything Lord Leveson has treated the scum bags within the industry with kid gloves, he could have put the boot into rotten eggs and prepared them to be turned into omelettes, but he has not.

So professionals within the press industry should stop moaning and be thankful to Lord Leveson.

Having finished his work Lord Leveson has very rightly left it to the parliament to act upon his mild but reasonable recommendations. So the ball is in the court of MPs, some of whom in fact are also morally hardly any better than those hacks who have brought their profession into disrepute.

It is nice to know that having been put into tight spot by honourable judge, now Leader of the Opposition Milliband and even Deputy Prime Minister have started to behave as bit of reasonable people and have said that they will implement Leveson Report.

But unfortunately the Prime Minister appear to have decided to ride his own pro crooks hobby horse (Does anybody know what happened to the one he used to ride, which used to belong to one of his posh neighbour from certain part of press?)

Considering people within the press have too often refused to clean their own mess, they made promises and broke not only those but also their own codes of conduct, there can be no guarantee if trusted once again they will only fool the people by creating a tarted up version of their own unfit for the purpose PCC.

That is why Lord Leveson has suggested that the new body should be validated by the parliament. If even a lay man like me can understand that then why can’t the Eton Educated former champagne Charlie from Oxford University call me Dave Prime Minister can’t?

As a lay man I am not too sure that Leveson will be the complete cure for something equivalent to SAD (sexually transmitted diseases) which have taken hold of within large section of the press.

Because only very rich victims to press abuses will be able to sue the culprits in courts like Lord McAlpine rightly threatened to do and Max Mosley did. And the editors are aware that less well off people will not be able to sue them because of their financial constraints.

Even if the new body is given the recommended power to impose maximum of £1million upon papers that misbehave, B) The Papers could view that as operating costs. B) Will the new body which could have politicians sitting on it actually be brave enough to impose maximum penalties upon Journos upon who they depend for misleading the gullible masses?

People are entitled to their own views, but in my humble lay man’s opinion independent body that will replace the useless PCC should be validated by law, and should have people like prominent lawyers and former judges sitting on it. Otherwise there will be real danger that members of new body could also end up becoming fans of powerful editors and rubber stamps in their hands.
Free Press is one of the most important parts of democratic society. Must be valued. Unfortunately although the same lot who often very rightly love reminding the society that with every right there is a responsibility attached to it, under the good name of ‘Press Freedom’ behaved so obnoxiously that even a self confessed close friend of likes of Brooks and admirer of Rupert Murdoch prime minister Cameron found the situation so much full of stink that he had to order an inquiry. Lord Leveson has now rightly pointed out that unprincipled people involved in press were given more than enough rope by various inquiries and commissions over last few decades, but rather than improving their standards they have kept on abusing the freedoms. So in honourable judge’s view something must be done, to make the low lifers who have virtually hijacked profession of journalism, can be made to behave in slightly civilised manner. If there is anything Lord Leveson has treated the scum bags within the industry with kid gloves, he could have put the boot into rotten eggs and prepared them to be turned into omelettes, but he has not. So professionals within the press industry should stop moaning and be thankful to Lord Leveson. Having finished his work Lord Leveson has very rightly left it to the parliament to act upon his mild but reasonable recommendations. So the ball is in the court of MPs, some of whom in fact are also morally hardly any better than those hacks who have brought their profession into disrepute. It is nice to know that having been put into tight spot by honourable judge, now Leader of the Opposition Milliband and even Deputy Prime Minister have started to behave as bit of reasonable people and have said that they will implement Leveson Report. But unfortunately the Prime Minister appear to have decided to ride his own pro crooks hobby horse (Does anybody know what happened to the one he used to ride, which used to belong to one of his posh neighbour from certain part of press?) Considering people within the press have too often refused to clean their own mess, they made promises and broke not only those but also their own codes of conduct, there can be no guarantee if trusted once again they will only fool the people by creating a tarted up version of their own unfit for the purpose PCC. That is why Lord Leveson has suggested that the new body should be validated by the parliament. If even a lay man like me can understand that then why can’t the Eton Educated former champagne Charlie from Oxford University call me Dave Prime Minister can’t? As a lay man I am not too sure that Leveson will be the complete cure for something equivalent to SAD (sexually transmitted diseases) which have taken hold of within large section of the press. Because only very rich victims to press abuses will be able to sue the culprits in courts like Lord McAlpine rightly threatened to do and Max Mosley did. And the editors are aware that less well off people will not be able to sue them because of their financial constraints. Even if the new body is given the recommended power to impose maximum of £1million upon papers that misbehave, B) The Papers could view that as operating costs. B) Will the new body which could have politicians sitting on it actually be brave enough to impose maximum penalties upon Journos upon who they depend for misleading the gullible masses? People are entitled to their own views, but in my humble lay man’s opinion independent body that will replace the useless PCC should be validated by law, and should have people like prominent lawyers and former judges sitting on it. Otherwise there will be real danger that members of new body could also end up becoming fans of powerful editors and rubber stamps in their hands. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

2:22pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Paramjit Bahia says...

Lone Ranger. wrote:
Strange that Slippery Dave doesnt want any form of legislation re the press.
.
Does he think his chums like Brookes and Coulson will ever be involved in the media again ........ Or is it possible that there could be a few untold stories yet to surface.
.
The press have been given too many "second chances" and have proven time again that voluntary regulation does not work.
.
Slipprey Dave ordered the enquiry at a cost in excess of £4m the least he can do it implement it
"Slipprey Dave ordered the enquiry at a cost in excess of £4m the least he can do it implement it”

You may like to consider adding IN FULL or FULLY after implement it.

Otherwise good comment.
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: Strange that Slippery Dave doesnt want any form of legislation re the press. . Does he think his chums like Brookes and Coulson will ever be involved in the media again ........ Or is it possible that there could be a few untold stories yet to surface. . The press have been given too many "second chances" and have proven time again that voluntary regulation does not work. . Slipprey Dave ordered the enquiry at a cost in excess of £4m the least he can do it implement it[/p][/quote]"Slipprey Dave ordered the enquiry at a cost in excess of £4m the least he can do it implement it” You may like to consider adding IN FULL or FULLY after implement it. Otherwise good comment. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Subject48 says...

£1 million seems like an amount to pay for a licence to to what they want. Take away their right to trade if they mess around. That will ensure fair press.
£1 million seems like an amount to pay for a licence to to what they want. Take away their right to trade if they mess around. That will ensure fair press. Subject48
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Paramjit Bahia says...

southy wrote:
The News Media needs to be broken up, a law should be made that no owner of one kind of news media should be allowed to own any other kind of news media.
Southy, I beg not to fully share your view, because I don’t think that size matters. It is the quality and commitment to telling the truth which is more important i.e. Ethics.

You may find that there are already some safeguards in place for guarding against monopolies in media industry. How they are applied may be a different matter

You may also find that some of the papers with low circulation numbers in fact are sensationalise even more than well known big culprits. As I do not read those, what I have heard is that some are even worse than Murdoch owned Sun.

Must say that while some of our so called lefty small publications rightly tend to ignore gossip and sex scandals, even these can often also be guilty of not telling the whole truth. Our lot also spin news to suit left just as other lots spin the same to suit political right. In my opinion that is bad ethics.

News pages should be unbiased statement of facts, and other subjects should be covered in clearly marked comments, opinions or editorial pages.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: The News Media needs to be broken up, a law should be made that no owner of one kind of news media should be allowed to own any other kind of news media.[/p][/quote]Southy, I beg not to fully share your view, because I don’t think that size matters. It is the quality and commitment to telling the truth which is more important i.e. Ethics. You may find that there are already some safeguards in place for guarding against monopolies in media industry. How they are applied may be a different matter You may also find that some of the papers with low circulation numbers in fact are sensationalise even more than well known big culprits. As I do not read those, what I have heard is that some are even worse than Murdoch owned Sun. Must say that while some of our so called lefty small publications rightly tend to ignore gossip and sex scandals, even these can often also be guilty of not telling the whole truth. Our lot also spin news to suit left just as other lots spin the same to suit political right. In my opinion that is bad ethics. News pages should be unbiased statement of facts, and other subjects should be covered in clearly marked comments, opinions or editorial pages. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Fri 30 Nov 12

freefinker says...

.. love the headline in the story above this one: -

"Jurt sent home in 1917 murder trial"

Unfortunately Leveson has nothing to say on total journalistic incompetence.
.. love the headline in the story above this one: - "Jurt sent home in 1917 murder trial" Unfortunately Leveson has nothing to say on total journalistic incompetence. freefinker
  • Score: 0

6:06pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Lone Ranger. says...

Paramjit says ;-
.
News pages should be unbiased statement of facts, and other subjects should be covered in clearly marked comments, opinions or editorial pages.
.
Great sentiment ....... the problem is ... would they still sell newspapers ..... I doubt it
Paramjit says ;- . News pages should be unbiased statement of facts, and other subjects should be covered in clearly marked comments, opinions or editorial pages. . Great sentiment ....... the problem is ... would they still sell newspapers ..... I doubt it Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

8:07pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Linesman says...

southy wrote:
The News Media needs to be broken up, a law should be made that no owner of one kind of news media should be allowed to own any other kind of news media.
It is nice to be able to agree with southy, but I would go a step further. I would not permit Foreign ownership of a UK based newspaper.

We could not prevent SKY broadcasting here, but I would not want it to be backed up with the Murdoch press, which has considerable influence.

I also agree with Lone Ranger, who said that the press have had enough chances to put its own house in order with self-regulation, but has failed time and time again.

There needs to be a regulatory body, but the problem is, who would be responsible for selecting the members, and from what 'walk of life' would those members come?

If they are selected by MPs or news editors, then we would have them giving the job to their cronies, who they would hope to keep in check.

It's a tough one, and not one that I think Leveson addressed.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: The News Media needs to be broken up, a law should be made that no owner of one kind of news media should be allowed to own any other kind of news media.[/p][/quote]It is nice to be able to agree with southy, but I would go a step further. I would not permit Foreign ownership of a UK based newspaper. We could not prevent SKY broadcasting here, but I would not want it to be backed up with the Murdoch press, which has considerable influence. I also agree with Lone Ranger, who said that the press have had enough chances to put its own house in order with self-regulation, but has failed time and time again. There needs to be a regulatory body, but the problem is, who would be responsible for selecting the members, and from what 'walk of life' would those members come? If they are selected by MPs or news editors, then we would have them giving the job to their cronies, who they would hope to keep in check. It's a tough one, and not one that I think Leveson addressed. Linesman
  • Score: 0

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