Hacked off describes David Cameron's decision to walk away from press regulation talks as a “shameless betrayal”
Campaign group Hacked Off has described Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to walk away from cross party talks to implement proposals made within the Leveson Report as “a shameless betrayal”.
Cameron has chosen to end talks following a lack of agreement over how the press should be regulated following Lord Justice Leveson’s report which led to much debate as to how to proceed, but little agreement.
Cameron was in favour of introducing a Royal Charter rather than state regulation of the press, which was being called for by a number of MPs.
Cameron has stated that will publish his plans for a royal charter that will aim to establish a tougher press regulator with a debate set to be held in the Commons on Monday.
Deputy Nick Clegg has added that he will continue cross party talks with Labour leader Ed Miliband however.
In reaction to Cameron’s decision, Professor Brian Cathcart, executive director of Hacked Off, stated: “This is a shameless betrayal of the victims of press abuse.”
He continued: “It also raises two fingers to all those members of the public who wanted to see change after the Milly Dowler phone-hacking revelations two years ago.”
“His [Cameron’s] version of the Royal Charter would have paved the way for a regulatory system little different from the discredited Press Complaints Commission.
“He allowed the newspapers to rewrite Leveson so much that they would have been able to pick and choose which complaints their self-regulator dealt with and would have given the self-regulator little power to tell a paper to give an apology or a correction due prominence.”
Cathcart continued: “Worse than that, the editors would have been able to write their own rules and handpick the people who ran the regulator.
“This was just the sort of regime we had before Leveson and it was designed to protect the interests of editors and proprietors rather than the public.”
He claimed that Cameron was attempting to portray the issue as one of press freedom but denied that there was any threat to freedom of expression.
“Cameron is trying to raise a smokescreen to hide his dirty dealings behind closed doors with powerful press barons who don’t want to have to be accountable when their newspapers –to use Lord Justice Leveson’s words – ‘wreak havoc in the lives of innocent people’.”
Earlier today, The Newspaper Society released a statement backing Cameron's stance over a Royal Charter introduction on press regulation."