The members of the Hacked off pressure group, including Kate and Gerry McCann, Chris Jeffries and JK Rowling, have written to Maria Miller MP, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, strongly urging the cross party Charter that resulted from the Leveson inquiry to be pressed into law.
The letter also notes that Miller has been the target of “a campaign of personal abuse and intimidation”, and asks the Minister to stand up to a “powerful vested interest with a record of causing harm to the public is challenging the democratic will of parliament.”
“We, the signatories, have experienced some of the worst abuses that the press has committed in recent years, and a number of us gave evidence to the Leveson inquiry in the hope that it would lead to change,” the letter says.
“It is more than three months since all parties in parliament gave their backing to the cross-party royal charter closely based on the Leveson recommendations. We understood then that it would be approved by the privy council in May and we were disappointed when, in response to a PressBoF manoeuvre, a delay was announced. Now that the consideration of the PressBof petition has run its course, we strongly urge you to send parliament's charter to the privy council for approval at its next meeting on 10 July.
“We are aware of calls for further delay. We urge you to recall that the 18 March charter has the backing of parliament, is founded on the recommendations of a duly constituted public inquiry that painstakingly took account of the views of all stakeholders, and is supported by the great majority of victims of press abuses.
“Standing in opposition to this are representatives of parts of the press, and in particular of a part that was found by the public inquiry to have 'wreaked havoc in the lives of innocent people'. In short, a tiny if powerful vested interest with a record of causing harm to the public is challenging the democratic will of parliament. We feel it is your duty to stand up to this.”
The letter also says that the signatories hope that the Prime Minster will not buckle under pressure from the newspaper industry.