Government still failing the victims of press abuses, says Labour MP

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22 Oct 2015
Paul Farrelly, Labour MP for Newcastle, has urged the government to fulfil its commitment to establishing a system of genuinely independent, effective self-regulation of the press.

Following the phone hacking scandal and subsequent Leveson Inquiry, provisions were included in the 2013 Crime and Courts Act to establish a recognised regulator in place of the previous discredited Press Complaints Commission, which publications would be encouraged to sign up to, and to protect public interest journalism in libel and privacy cases.

Two years later, however, those provisions have still not been implemented, prompting Mr Farrelly – who sits on the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee and has been instrumental in bringing a number of the most shocking cases of press abuses to light – to raise the matter as a point of order directly with the Speaker in the Commons this morning.

With Culture Secretary John Whittingdale having made a speech to the Society of Editors earlier this week in which he said he was ‘not convinced the time is right for the introduction of these costs provisions,’ Mr Farrelly accused the government of dragging its feet – or worse – over the issue.

Mr Farrelly added: ‘This is a major change of stance by the government over a key Leveson recommendation, and which arguably thwarts the will of the House – yet not announced to the House, nor indeed during questions by the Select Committee only last month.’