East Lancashire MPs welcome Leveson report

Lancashire Telegraph: VITAL MPs say it's vital to protect local papers VITAL MPs say it's vital to protect local papers

EAST Lancashire’s MPs have welcomed the Leveson report recommending stricter regulations for the press. Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: "I endorse the report's conclusions.

“I think the prime minister is simply wrong to pour cold water on the report's central conclusion that there has to be some statutory underpinning for press regulation.

“It cannot work properly without it.

"Leveson is emphatic that he is not recommending statutory regulation and the prime minister has accepted that.

"The good news is the praise of the report for Britain's regional and local press - the Lancashire Telegraph included.”

Darwen and Rossendale MP Jake Berry said: “I think it is absolutely vital that we stick away from regulation to protect our local newspapers.

“My main concern is that if we had a state regualtory body it could see the closure of local papers.

“It is very important for us that we are seen to promote a free press abroad.

“It would be very difficult to do that if we had state regulation.”

Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, said he agreed that any new regulations should recognise the importance of regional press.

He said: “I welcome overall the recommendations of Lord Leveson.

“We need to make sure we welcome these recommendations but that we don’t rush into anything that might have consequences on regional press, which is essential for a democracy and holding politicians to account.”

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said: "I don't want a Soviet-style controlled state press of course but I think some regulation is in order.

“We have to make sure that what happened to Milly Dowler's family never happens again.

“It is the victims who come first here, the press's rights are secondary. “An independent regulator sounds sensible since it is clear the press can't voluntarily regulate themselves all the time."

Comments (5)

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2:25pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Kevin, Colne says...

I hope that local MPs will read the Leveson Report in full and come to a view that is independent of their party. To fail to do so would be a gross dereliction of duty and betrayal of the electorate. This really is a time for local politicians to step-up to the plate and show some courage and integrity rather than the glib statements that we read here. If we are not very careful the mainstream media are going to once again run rings around the political class.

I have to say that the reporting of the Leveson Report by some elements of the mainstream media and national ‘newspapers’ has been little short of disgraceful and confirms, if indeed any such confirmation was needed, that there are parts of the media where distortion and falsehood is the principle mode of operation.

Some ‘newspapers’ appear to be deliberately mis-representing the Leveson Report, and some have published reports critical of His Lordship. It’s very important, therefore, not form a view on Leveson from reading national newspapers.

The case for statutory provision is set-out in Para.70 of the Executive Summary states:

'These incentives - which are designed to encourage all significant news publishers to participate: my insert, not Leveson - form an integral part of the recommendation, as without them it is difficult, given past practice and statements that have been made as recently as this summer, to see what would lead some in the industry to be willing to become part of what would be genuinely independent regulation. It also leads to what some will describe as the most controversial part of my recommendations. In order to give effect to the incentives that I have outlined, it is essential that there should be legislation to underpin the independent self-regulatory system and facilitate its recognition in legal processes.'

I will have to read the report in full but it seems to me that Leveson is arguing for a statutory backstop because he fears that the press having made promises of intent to reform and mend their ways will simply revert to type.

I think Leveson is right but from the way things are headed it would seem that the Coalition Government quite possibly supported by local politicians is, once again, going to cave-in to vested corporate interests.
I hope that local MPs will read the Leveson Report in full and come to a view that is independent of their party. To fail to do so would be a gross dereliction of duty and betrayal of the electorate. This really is a time for local politicians to step-up to the plate and show some courage and integrity rather than the glib statements that we read here. If we are not very careful the mainstream media are going to once again run rings around the political class. I have to say that the reporting of the Leveson Report by some elements of the mainstream media and national ‘newspapers’ has been little short of disgraceful and confirms, if indeed any such confirmation was needed, that there are parts of the media where distortion and falsehood is the principle mode of operation. Some ‘newspapers’ appear to be deliberately mis-representing the Leveson Report, and some have published reports critical of His Lordship. It’s very important, therefore, not form a view on Leveson from reading national newspapers. The case for statutory provision is set-out in Para.70 of the Executive Summary states: 'These incentives - which are designed to encourage all significant news publishers to participate: my insert, not Leveson - form an integral part of the recommendation, as without them it is difficult, given past practice and statements that have been made as recently as this summer, to see what would lead some in the industry to be willing to become part of what would be genuinely independent regulation. It also leads to what some will describe as the most controversial part of my recommendations. In order to give effect to the incentives that I have outlined, it is essential that there should be legislation to underpin the independent self-regulatory system and facilitate its recognition in legal processes.' I will have to read the report in full but it seems to me that Leveson is arguing for a statutory backstop because he fears that the press having made promises of intent to reform and mend their ways will simply revert to type. I think Leveson is right but from the way things are headed it would seem that the Coalition Government quite possibly supported by local politicians is, once again, going to cave-in to vested corporate interests. Kevin, Colne

3:38pm Fri 30 Nov 12

sean_brfc says...

Kevin, the best way is to meet up with Mr Stephenson at his surgeries and point out your opinion (and how it may differ to that of the Tory leadership). I, too, fear that without statutory regulation then a few years down the line all this will have been forgotten and we'll be back to square one without having solved the problem(s).
Kevin, the best way is to meet up with Mr Stephenson at his surgeries and point out your opinion (and how it may differ to that of the Tory leadership). I, too, fear that without statutory regulation then a few years down the line all this will have been forgotten and we'll be back to square one without having solved the problem(s). sean_brfc

4:13pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Info-warrior says...

Free will..no Free speech..no Free press..no..Authorita
rianism,,yes.yes.yes
..

How much more will it take to wake up the masses to this tyranical authoritarian regime that is growing around us..? Times running out we're only one false flag away from totalised global destruction..
Free will..no Free speech..no Free press..no..Authorita rianism,,yes.yes.yes .. How much more will it take to wake up the masses to this tyranical authoritarian regime that is growing around us..? Times running out we're only one false flag away from totalised global destruction.. Info-warrior

4:38pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Izanears says...

Of course some MP's and indeed many others will want to muzzle the press so that their 'misdemeanours' won't get into the public arena. Just stop and think about the MP's expenses expose among other things. Had it not been for the press they would still have been getting away with charging the taxpayer for bath plugs, **** movies, duck houses, and of course, constantly switching houses. We are well on the way to Orwell's 1984 with regards to the losing free speech. Muzzle the press and all will be lost..
Of course some MP's and indeed many others will want to muzzle the press so that their 'misdemeanours' won't get into the public arena. Just stop and think about the MP's expenses expose among other things. Had it not been for the press they would still have been getting away with charging the taxpayer for bath plugs, **** movies, duck houses, and of course, constantly switching houses. We are well on the way to Orwell's 1984 with regards to the losing free speech. Muzzle the press and all will be lost.. Izanears

6:59pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Kevin, Colne says...

To paraphrase from 'allo 'allo I'll post this only once.

It is true that from time to time the press do indeed expose great wrong-doing and injustice and the expenses scandal is one that the press cite as an example of their investigative prowess, virtue and goodness.

Unfortunately the facts grate with the story that the mainstream is spinning. It was Heather Brooke a freelance journalist that first made attempts to use the Freedom of Information Act to prize-open the lid on MPs expenses and was then joined later by reporters from other newspapers.

The full extent of the scandal came about because a mole in the office redacting the MPs expenses was so incensed by what they saw that they obtained a copy of the disc and made a deal with the Daily Telegraph to ensure publication. Thankfully the Telegraph agreed to publish, but other newspapers were in the running, although whether they would have tried to publish the material selectively to match their political agenda is an unanswered question.

See ‘No Expenses Spared’ by Robert Winnett and Gordon Raynor for the full-story and from which the above account is taken.

I can’t find the page in question but I recall when reading this book that the moles insisted that everything be published and this suggests that some of the newspapers approached with the story may have wanted to publish only those parts that fitted their ‘agenda’ – so much for the free press, eh?

Now, I haven’t read the Leveson Report in full but I would be surprised if he is suggesting that newspapers should be prevented from publishing something of genuine public interest. In fact in the report there is an entire section devoted to this very issue, so Leveson has given the topic some pretty serious thought.

Leveson’s Report runs to 4 volumes and 2000 pages so unlike plans from politicians it is not something thrown together on a Sunday night that falls apart when examined on Monday morning.

He’s nailed it; and the press know it. The stench of hypocrisy emanating from the response of the mainstream press is truly revolting.

Leveson, in my view, is trying to help the press get their cart back onto the rails by maintaining a system of self-regulation that actually works but the mainstream media would much prefer their current position of untouchable accountability.

I agree that we need to tread carefully but at first glance Leveson appears to have done a good job, perhaps too good a job for the liking of Mr Cameron and the press.

Sorry for the ramble.
To paraphrase from 'allo 'allo I'll post this only once. It is true that from time to time the press do indeed expose great wrong-doing and injustice and the expenses scandal is one that the press cite as an example of their investigative prowess, virtue and goodness. Unfortunately the facts grate with the story that the mainstream is spinning. It was Heather Brooke a freelance journalist that first made attempts to use the Freedom of Information Act to prize-open the lid on MPs expenses and was then joined later by reporters from other newspapers. The full extent of the scandal came about because a mole in the office redacting the MPs expenses was so incensed by what they saw that they obtained a copy of the disc and made a deal with the Daily Telegraph to ensure publication. Thankfully the Telegraph agreed to publish, but other newspapers were in the running, although whether they would have tried to publish the material selectively to match their political agenda is an unanswered question. See ‘No Expenses Spared’ by Robert Winnett and Gordon Raynor for the full-story and from which the above account is taken. I can’t find the page in question but I recall when reading this book that the moles insisted that everything be published and this suggests that some of the newspapers approached with the story may have wanted to publish only those parts that fitted their ‘agenda’ – so much for the free press, eh? Now, I haven’t read the Leveson Report in full but I would be surprised if he is suggesting that newspapers should be prevented from publishing something of genuine public interest. In fact in the report there is an entire section devoted to this very issue, so Leveson has given the topic some pretty serious thought. Leveson’s Report runs to 4 volumes and 2000 pages so unlike plans from politicians it is not something thrown together on a Sunday night that falls apart when examined on Monday morning. He’s nailed it; and the press know it. The stench of hypocrisy emanating from the response of the mainstream press is truly revolting. Leveson, in my view, is trying to help the press get their cart back onto the rails by maintaining a system of self-regulation that actually works but the mainstream media would much prefer their current position of untouchable accountability. I agree that we need to tread carefully but at first glance Leveson appears to have done a good job, perhaps too good a job for the liking of Mr Cameron and the press. Sorry for the ramble. Kevin, Colne

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