Like Mr Bone, I have been contemplating the relationship between what is in a party manifesto and how Members should vote. I am glad to hear the deputy Leader of the Opposition say that manifestos are just guidance because our manifesto undoubtedly committed us to Leveson 2.
When I first heard about the amendments on Leveson 2 last week, I sought guidance from much more eminent Members than me who were tabling amendments. In one case, a Member said that it was just a copy-and-paste job from the original Leveson 2 recommendations. Someone else told me that it was all to do with corrupt police. I therefore looked carefully at the terms of reference of Leveson 2 and found that about half were to do with corrupt police. That is hardly mentioned in the Lords amendment. The reason is that Lord Leveson wrote to the Home Secretary saying that, because of the extensive inquiries that had taken place:
“I am inclined to agree that there is little public interest in re-opening many of these same investigations again. I also agree that the guidance from the College of Policing regarding Media Relations represents significant change.”
In other words, all that section of Leveson 2’s original terms of reference has gone and a whole range of other things has been added.
I treat the manifesto on which I stood seriously. I assure my local Momentum branch that I have read it seven times and there were even occasions during the general election campaign when I could recite from it for purposes of debate, but the amendment envisages a very different Leveson 2 inquiry.
Let me draw attention to a couple of matters. Lord Leveson wrote to the Home Secretary and said that he was worried about the Cliff Richard case and we therefore have a clause about that. Who was involved in the Cliff Richard case? I speak as a vice-chair of the all-party group on the BBC.