The Leveson Report
Read the full Leveson report here
Lord Justice Leveson has today published the report resulting from the long-lasting Leveson inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.
You can read the full report below when it is released and follow The Commentator's coverage of the Leveson inquiry and report in full here.
KEY POINTS (via The Daily Telegraph):
Regulation of the press
- An independent regulator with the power to fine newspapers up to £1m or 1 per cent of turnover for breaching a new code of conduct
- Regulator to be underpinned by statute, to ‘protect the freedom of the press, to reassure the public and validate the new body’
- Arbitration system to enable wronged parties to seek swift redress by way of a prominent apology and fines, if appropriate
- New body will not have power to prevent publication of any material
- Kite mark system for publications that are signed up to the new regulator
- Whistleblowing hotline for journalists who believe they are being put under pressure to breach the new code of conduct, and legal protection to prevent them being victimised for doing so
- Ofcom to carry out reviews every two years of how the new regulator is working and to act as backstop regulator if publishers refuse to sign up to new body
- Information Commissioner to be given greater powers to prosecute newspapers for breaches of data protection
- Board of new body must comprise a majority of people independent of the press, with some former journalists but no serving editors and no MPs
The press and politicians
- David Cameron accused of undermining public confidence in politicians by creating the perception that he was too close to newspaper executives
- New Labour is also criticised for introducing a culture of ‘spin’ in Government
- Party leaders, ministers and Opposition front benchers should declare long-term relationships with newspaper editors and executives
- Details of all meeting with editors, proprietors and media executives to be published on a quarterly basis, with a summary of what was discussed. Also applies where representatives of ministers meet representatives of editors, such as lobbyists
- Personal and private meetings must also be disclosed, such as David Cameron’s ‘country suppers’ with Rebekah Brooks
- A ‘fair and reasonably complete’ summary of how many letters, texts, phone calls and emails are exchanged between politicians and senior media people
- Jeremy Hunt cleared of any bias over his role in proposed BSkyB takeover but criticised for failing to supervise his special adviser Adam Smith during contact with News Corp lobbyist Fred Michel
The press and the police
- No widespread evidence of corruption, but Leveson criticises decision-making of police during original phone-hacking inquiry
- Former Met Assistant Commissioner John Yates should have declined to review phone-hacking investigation because of his personal friendship with News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis
- All ACPO rank officers should record all of their contact with the media and publish a summary of what was discussed
- ACPO guidance should ‘spell out the dangers of consuming alcohol in a setting of casual hospitality’ but stop short of a blanket ban on drinking with journalists
- Telephone hotline for officers to ask for ‘ethical’ guidance
- - Leveson: "Press Complaints Commission has failed, there must be change"
- - Leveson, "I believe the British press mostly serves the interests of the country very well"
- - Leveson, "The press operates very differently from.... internet and 'Twitt-ah'
- - Leveson says "Press operating freely is a true safeguard of our democracy"
- - New body to be overseen by OfCom
13:30 - GUIDO REPORTS:
+ + Press Complaints Commission to go, NEW BODY UNDERPINNED BY LEGISLATION + +
+ + POLITICIANS MUST PUBLISH DETAILS OFALL CONTACT WITH SENIOR MEDIA + +
+ + LEVESON SAYS THERE WAS ‘NO DEAL’ BETWEEN NEWS INT AND TORIES + +
+ + HUNT CLEARED OF BIAS, CABLE CRITICISED + +
13:00 MEDIA GUIDO REPORTS:
- - Leveson wants legislation for a new regulatory body, if not that, the papers to be regulated by Ofcom
- - Leveson clears Hunt gives Cable a bit of a slap
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