“(1) The Secretary of State must, within the period of three months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed, establish an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 into allegations of data protection breaches committed by or on behalf of national news publishers and other media organisations.
(2) Before setting the terms of reference of and other arrangements for the inquiry the Secretary of State must—
(a) consult the Scottish Ministers with a view to ensuring, in particular, that the inquiry will consider the separate legal context and other circumstances of Scotland;
(b) consult Northern Ireland Ministers and members of the Northern Ireland Assembly with a view to ensuring, in particular, that the inquiry will consider the separate legal context and other circumstances of Northern Ireland;
(c) consult persons appearing to the Secretary of State to represent the interests of victims of data protection breaches committed by, on behalf of or in relation to, national news publishers and other media organisations; and
(d) consult persons appearing to the Secretary of State to represent the interests of news publishers and other media organisations (having regard in particular to organisations representing journalists).
(3) The terms of reference for the inquiry must include requirements—
(a) to inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct by or on behalf of national news publishers and other organisations within the media in respect of personal data;
(b) to inquire into the extent of corporate governance and management failures and the role, if any, of politicians, public servants and others in relation to failures to investigate wrongdoing at media organisations within the scope of the inquiry;
(c) to review the protections and provisions around media coverage of individuals subject to police inquiries, including the policy and practice of naming suspects of crime prior to any relevant charge or conviction;
(d) to investigate the dissemination of information and news, including false news stories, by social media organisations using personal data;
(e) to consider the adequacy of the current regulatory arrangements and the resources, powers and approach of the Information Commissioner and any other relevant authorities in relation to—
(i) the news publishing industry (except in relation to entities regulated by Ofcom) across all platforms and in the light of experience since 2012;
(ii) social media companies;
(f) to make such recommendations as appear to the inquiry to be appropriate for the purpose of ensuring that the privacy rights of individuals are balanced with the right to freedom of expression.
(4) In setting the terms of reference for the inquiry the Secretary of State must—
(a) have regard to the current context of the news, publishing and general media industry;
(b) must set appropriate parameters for determining which allegations are to be considered;
(c) determine the meaning and scope of references to national news publishers and other media organisations for the purposes of the inquiry.
(5) Before complying with subsection (4) the Secretary of State must consult the judge or other person who is likely to be invited to chair the inquiry.
(6) The inquiry may, so far as it considers appropriate—
(a) consider evidence given to previous public inquiries; and
(b) take account of the findings of and evidence given to previous public inquiries (and the inquiry must consider using this power for the purpose of avoiding the waste of public resources).
(7) This section comes into force on Royal Assent.” .—(Edward Miliband.)
This new clause would require the establishment of an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 as recommended by Lord Justice Leveson for Part two of his Inquiry.
Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.
The House divided:
Ayes 295, Noes 304.
Division number 152