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Hacked Off publishes own Leveson Bill

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By John Glenday, Reporter

January 8, 2013 | 2 min read

Hacked Off, the pressure group campaigning for the full implementation of Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations of press regulation, has published its own parliamentary bill.

Drafted by Hugh Tomlinson QC and parliamentary counsel Daniel Greenberg , the document aims to enshrine the freedom of the press in statute and specify the standard which a voluntary independent press self-regulator must meet.

It also gives legal effect for publishers to join the self-regulator and proposes a democratic system for the appointment of a Recognition Commission to verify that the regulator is performing its role as intended.

Professor Brian Cathcart, director of Hacked Off said: “Our draft Bill – the Leveson Bill – offers a plain and straightforward way of implementing Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations on press regulation in full and without delay.This is not a bill for press regulation as Hacked Off or anyone else would wish it: it is a bill to underpin voluntary press self-regulation in the way Lord Justice Leveson wanted it.

“There are other schemes and ideas in the air, including other draft bills and a proposal for a Royal Charter.

“None of these complies with the Leveson Report and all are likely to water down or distort his proposals. Only the Leveson Bill can deliver the considered and balanced new scheme designed by the judge to safeguard press freedom while at the same time protecting the public from press abuses.

“Hacked Off calls on all MPs, and peers and every group or individual interested in these matters, to read the bill, participate in the consultation and give this process their backing, so that we can put behind us 70 years of editorial unaccountability and abuses. This is the best way to achieve a free and vigorous press that does not wilfully trample on the rights of citizens.”

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