MEND Statement on defeat of Leveson Two inquiry
Categories: Latest News
Thursday May 10 2018
Yesterday, 9 May 2018, parliamentarians voted on the fate of a bold amendment to the data protection bill which if introduced would have forced the Government to stand up to press barons and hold them accountable for their unethical practices.
The amendment, tabled by a cross-party group of MPs including from both the Labour party and the Conservative party, aimed to revive the Leveson Inquiry that was recently abandoned half-way by the current Government, with the Secretary of State, Matt Hancock, claiming that “significant progress” had been already made.
Whilst hours can be spent disputing how much progress has been made, or more appropriately the lack of, to axe part two of the inquiry is an absolute betrayal of the numerous victims of the unethical practices of the mainstream press by not even completing the investigation into the problem.
It is important to remember that the Leveson Inquiry into press misconduct was always meant to be a two-part investigation and as such not pursuing half of the investigation means that the full scale of press misconduct and police corruption remains unknown.
MEND is significantly disappointed that parliamentarians, particularly the Conservative leadership and their three-line whip, failed to demonstrate the courage to stand up to press barons and MEND agrees with MP Tom Watson that they in fact demonstrated “shameless capitulation”, sacrificing their ethics for media support.
However, MEND is heartened that with all the force of the media and the current Government the vote was only narrowly defeated, with only 9 votes against (304 votes to 295), highlighting that there is major support in Parliament to ensure the Government upholds its promises and sincerely investigates press corruption.
The amendment having been defeated in the House of Commons will now be debated in the House of Lords.
Whilst Theresa May’s Government and the media oligarchy were able to quash this attempt by people to make the press fair, it does not mean that they are in the clear.
MEND, as well as other organisations including Hacked Off, will continue to fight on behalf of the public to ensure that regulations are introduced that can effectively hold the press to account.