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Industry and Education

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:41 pm on 21st November 1994.

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Photo of Mr Neil Hamilton Mr Neil Hamilton , Tatton 6:41 pm, 21st November 1994

I am anxious not to give way as I do not want to take up longer in this debate than is absolutely necessary.

The Press Complaints Commission is a sheep in wolf s clothing and it is treated with open contempt by wilder media moguls. It should be replaced by a serious body which can command respect.

Our court procedures should be tightened to reduce the delays in securing justice and there should be more balance in the risks run. Informal mechanisms to stamp out media abuses are plainly inadequate and legal mechanisms are ruinously costly and slow. A major lacuna in the Queen's Speech is that nothing is proposed to remedy those serious defects.

However, I read in yesterday's Mail on Sunday that the Lord Chancellor is preparing a Bill, based on proposals put forward by Lord Justice Hoffman five years ago, to make it easier for ordinary people to bring libel actions and to speed up and cut the cost of proceedings. I strongly support such ideas and I hope that legislation will be announced as soon as possible.