Leveson Part 2: Sunday Times - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:17 pm on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Lord McNally Lord McNally Liberal Democrat 7:17 pm, 7th March 2018

My Lords, one of the things we did not have last Thursday when the noble and learned Lord made his Statement was Sir Brian Leveson’s letter. In both Houses, an impression was given that Sir Brian basically accepted what was going along. Through Hansard I urge every Member of this House to go to the House of Lords Library and look at the letter, which is a devastating, six-page indictment of what this Government have done. He makes it very clear that he wanted to go on with it. He does not accept that IPSO is up and running so wonderfully. He points out examples, such as the Manchester terrorist outrage reported by the noble Lord, Lord Kerslake, where there was intrusive press behaviour, and in the letter he quotes recent worrying police and media collusion. He also challenges the Government about cost. It is a devastating indictment. Does the Minister think that the way the Government have handled this is any way in the spirit of the Inquiries Act 2005 which requires consultation with the chairman as a safeguard so that no Government will cut and run from an inquiry? That is exactly what this Government have done. Will he again consider a more constructive response to what was said by the Official Opposition? We were getting this right when we were working together. It has gone badly wrong since the Government have started cutting their own deals with the press barons.