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Leveson Inquiry

Leveson Royal Charter “decree” likened to Mugabe’s rule by Lord McCluskey


By Steven Raeburn, N/A

April 16, 2013 | 2 min read

Lord McCluskey, chair of the Scottish Parliament’s committee charged with taking forward the Government’s response to Lord Leveson committee’s recommendations on media reform has issued an unprecedented outspoken personal criticism of the proposed UK Royal Charter solution, likening it to decrees by Robert Mugabe or Vladimir Putin.

The Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee has been charged with taking the Royal Charter proposal forward for the Scottish jurisdiction. Last month, it discussed the item in private closed session.

The committee also considered a letter from BBC Scotland in private for almost two hours. The contents of the letter are not known.

The Scotsman reported that Lord McCluskey said the decision on implementing Leveson’s recommendations should be taken by “the elected Parliament” rather than via Royal Charter.

“That ought to be looked at by the legislature, not decided in smoke-filled rooms - or pizza-filled rooms I think it is nowadays - of the Privy Council,” he said.

“Putin and Mugabe must be rubbing their hands with glee at the idea you can just issue a decree in which they determine all these rules.

“What a terrible example for us to offer to the world to bypass the legislature in all these matters that it should be done by an unelected head of state.”

Lord McCluskey’s expert panel concluded be recommending a universal jurisdiction over the press enforceable in law.

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