A south Bucks MP voted for an amendment to the Data Protection Bill which critics say could have crippled the local newspaper industry, it has been revealed.

Beaconsfield MP Dominic Grieve (Con) was one of 295 MPS who voted to implement a second stage of the Leveson inquiry into press standards

Critics have said that “Leveson 2”, which the majority of MPs voted against in the Commons this week, would have been "catastrophic" for local newspapers.

But Mr Grieve insisted it would not be "disastrous" for local press, saying it had "put its house in order".

This inquiry would be likely to cost the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds and would undoubtedly result in more bad law and restrictions on freedom of speech against which we would all have to battle.

However, the attempt was thrown out after a narrow majority of MPS voted against the proposals.

There was also due to be a vote on the vastly criticised “Section 40-style costs sanctions,” which meant that even if a court found every word printed by a newspaper was true and accurate, the paper would still be forced to pay all the legal costs of the claimant, estimated at a minimum of £15,000 just to strike out one baseless claim.

But this was dropped after the Scottish National Party withdrew its support for it.

Mr Grieve said: "There was no vote on the Section 40, and if there had been, I would have voted against it.

"That has been my position on it for a long time.

"What I did support was whether the Leveson 2 [inquiry] should go ahead.

"I don't take the view that Leveson 2 is disastrous for newspapers and especially not local newspapers because they have never, to my knowledge, taken part in phone hacking or anything like that.

"But I do disagree with the Government about not proceeding with the second part of the inquiry.

"The local newspaper has done its part in to put its house in order.

"I don't think it was right to drop the first part of the inquiry halfway through."

Mr Grieve was first elected as MP for Beaconsfield in 1997, having entered Parliament as a barrister.

He was appointed as a Privy Councillor and Attorney General (AG) in 2010, until 2014.

As AG he was involved in making sure that the balance of freedom of expression against that of the right to a fair trial was observed by the press.