Implement Leveson in full – George

Local MP, Andrew George, has added his voice to those calling on the Government to implement the Lord Leveson report in full.

Speaking in the Commons last week he asked the Prime Minister whether he would “respect the wishes” of the victims of unacceptable press intrusion (the family of Milly Dowler, the McCann family, etc) and ensure that a voluntary/independent press complaints system was essentially underpinned by a regulator to ensure that the press behaved responsibly.

Mr George said:  “This is nothing to do with the risk of ‘State control’ of the media.  Nor would it in any way curtail the ‘freedom of the press’.  I would be the first to protest at that.

“The so-called ‘freedom’ of the press has to be balanced with responsibility of the press; something which has been shown to be sadly lacking.  The freedom to phone-hack and sensationalise is an abuse of power not a civil liberty.  It is especially an abuse of power by powerful corporations sometimes driven more by concern with sales than with truth.  Indeed it has been some sections of the press that have compromised individual freedoms and it is those freedoms that need to be protected.

“Lord Leveson found that innocent and vulnerable people often find themselves bullied and misrepresented by the press; having their lives ruined without any effective recourse.  There are no absolute ‘freedoms’ without also acknowledging and respecting ‘responsibility’.

“All we are asking is for the ‘freedoms’ of the press to be both respected but also balanced with ‘responsibility’ towards those who some in the press have treated with unacceptable irresponsibility.”

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