Aylesbury MP David Lidington backs Leveson reforms - but not legislation

Bucks Free Press: MP backs Leveson reforms - but not legislation MP backs Leveson reforms - but not legislation

AYLESBURY MP David Lidington has welcomed the ideas for press reforms in the Leveson Report – but is urging caution about introducing legislation to back them up.

He believes the current system of newspaper regulation is ‘bust’ and needs an urgent overhaul.

But he fears an Act of Parliament would take too long to implement and warns future Governments could then alter these powers if they were on the statute book.

This echoes the fears of the newspaper industry which is worried that even a small piece of legislation could ultimately lead to a serious clampdown on the press at some point in the future.

Conservative Mr Lidington, who is Minister for Europe, said: “I rather take a deep breath and share David Cameron’s caution on this.”

He explained: “If you have a statute, you have established a new principle that the regulatory system of the press is based upon an Act of Parliament.

“It might mean a future Parliament might want to look at that statute again to vary the powers.

“It is an important shift of principle. I think Cameron is right to be cautious about it.”

However, Mr Lidington, an MP for 20 years, does endorse the principles of Lord Justice’s Leveson’s report, published yesterday.

“First, he [Leveson] has been conclusive there has been firm evidence of a subculture in the national media that has developed extremely bad habits. Clearly, there has been something going badly wrong and the excuse of a rogue journalist doesn’t really wash.

“Secondly, the current system is inadequate. The PCC (Press Complaints Commission) has proved itself to be pretty useless. The structure he proposes seems to me to be a good one. A tougher system of regulation, clearly independent of government and media. That is right.”

The MP backed the idea of quicker more prominent apologies for mistakes in newspapers. He said the majority of people want the apology to appear in the same part of the paper where the original article first appeared.

But pushing the reforms through via Parliament might take up to two years, he said.

“It seems to me there would be great merit in going on with the reforms that Leveson recommends but without the Act of Parliament,” he said.

“We shouldn’t just wait. Let’s get on with what we can do now and get on with it quickly because the present system is bust.”

The newspaper industry is currently pushing forward a new much tougher system of self regulation, but Mr Lidington doesn’t believe this goes far enough.

In a nutshell, he says: “I welcome Leveson’s recommendations. I would like to see action taken..., but with the exception I am cautious about going for legislation. The substance can be done without legislation.”

Comments (7)

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12:29pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Voyeur says...

I feel that MPs are under estimating the feeling of the people on this one. The press have had plenty of chances to get their houses in order and have continued to fail dismally. Cameron said he would implement Leveson's recommendations "if they were not bonkers". However, even though his recommendations are not bonkers, he is refusing to crack down on them. The public has lost confidence in the self regulation model and something needs to be done.
I feel that MPs are under estimating the feeling of the people on this one. The press have had plenty of chances to get their houses in order and have continued to fail dismally. Cameron said he would implement Leveson's recommendations "if they were not bonkers". However, even though his recommendations are not bonkers, he is refusing to crack down on them. The public has lost confidence in the self regulation model and something needs to be done. Voyeur

1:47pm Fri 30 Nov 12

monique says...

It seems that my Prime Minister cares more about newspaper editors and owners and whether they will back his party in a couple of years than he does about victims of horrendous and disgusting press intrusion. It also seems that my MP cares more about following the party line than he does about listening to his constituents.

Complete waste of time, money and effort, calling for the review, then basically ignoring the bits they don't like.

So, hands up then, who trusts politicians?
It seems that my Prime Minister cares more about newspaper editors and owners and whether they will back his party in a couple of years than he does about victims of horrendous and disgusting press intrusion. It also seems that my MP cares more about following the party line than he does about listening to his constituents. Complete waste of time, money and effort, calling for the review, then basically ignoring the bits they don't like. So, hands up then, who trusts politicians? monique

8:10pm Fri 30 Nov 12

yog says...

Cameron has really lost the plot over this.

Petition nearly up to 30K, only launched at lunch time!

http://hackinginquir
y.org/petition/
Cameron has really lost the plot over this. Petition nearly up to 30K, only launched at lunch time! http://hackinginquir y.org/petition/ yog

9:52pm Fri 30 Nov 12

J B Blackett says...

Why is it all these MP types (with exception of the sorely missed Martin Bell and Jack Ashley) look and talk like utter buffoons and half-wits.
.
It's either that or it is very oily, slimy , self-pitying , self-justifying condescending patronizing rubbish like that pompous bicycle-riding clot the 'right honourable' Andrew Mitchell, that comes out of their mouths.
.
At least the Aylesbury so-called Member of our so-called democratic Parliament is consistent. He is consistently out of touch with his voters and always speaks from a position of total ignorance on any particular topic of concern of the moment.
.
Par for the course for 99% of the current MPs , I'm afraid.
Why is it all these MP types (with exception of the sorely missed Martin Bell and Jack Ashley) look and talk like utter buffoons and half-wits. . It's either that or it is very oily, slimy , self-pitying , self-justifying condescending patronizing rubbish like that pompous bicycle-riding clot the 'right honourable' Andrew Mitchell, that comes out of their mouths. . At least the Aylesbury so-called Member of our so-called democratic Parliament is consistent. He is consistently out of touch with his voters and always speaks from a position of total ignorance on any particular topic of concern of the moment. . Par for the course for 99% of the current MPs , I'm afraid. J B Blackett

1:54am Sat 1 Dec 12

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

I wish they would put into law some Act like US legislation preventing any individual (think Murdoch, Beaverbrook) or organisation from owning more than say 15% of the media - once this has been forgotten Murdoch will be back with plans to take over Sky TV and a majority of the press here, the same way he has done with print media in Australia.
I wish they would put into law some Act like US legislation preventing any individual (think Murdoch, Beaverbrook) or organisation from owning more than say 15% of the media - once this has been forgotten Murdoch will be back with plans to take over Sky TV and a majority of the press here, the same way he has done with print media in Australia. ImpeturbableLawrence

2:05am Sat 1 Dec 12

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

So it's to be singing and dancing as usual in the Last Chance Saloon, residential hotel in Fleet Street with its lease renewed by Mr Cameron and his chums.
So it's to be singing and dancing as usual in the Last Chance Saloon, residential hotel in Fleet Street with its lease renewed by Mr Cameron and his chums. ImpeturbableLawrence

2:06am Sat 1 Dec 12

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

ImpeturbableLawrence wrote:
So it's to be singing and dancing as usual in the Last Chance Saloon, residential hotel in Fleet Street with its lease renewed by Mr Cameron and his chums.
(Once again.)
[quote][p][bold]ImpeturbableLawrence[/bold] wrote: So it's to be singing and dancing as usual in the Last Chance Saloon, residential hotel in Fleet Street with its lease renewed by Mr Cameron and his chums.[/p][/quote](Once again.) ImpeturbableLawrence

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