Cameron must keep the Press free from state control
DAVID CAMERON WARNED TO KEEP PRESS FREE
Saturday October 27,2012
By Martyn Brown
DAVID Cameron has been urged by senior Tories to keep the British press free from state regulation.
The Prime Minister has been warned ahead of the publication next month of the Leveson report on media standards.
London mayor Boris Johnson said: “One reason London is regarded as the greatest city to live and invest in is because we have the stability that goes with, not just the rule of law, but a system of government almost entirely free from corruption and criminal activity, at virtually every level. We have to fight to keep it that way.”
John Whittingdale, Tory chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee, insisted he would not support any statutory restrictions on newspapers and websites.
He also hit out at the Government for giving Lord Justice Leveson too broad a remit and claimed the inquiry looked unlikely ever to examine the culture of phone hacking at the News of the World, which triggered the inquiry, because of criminal investigations.
He said: “We should hold back from statutory regulation. This matter is so important it should be Parliament that decides what to do, not a judge – however eminent.”
Mr Whittingdale and Mr Johnson were speaking at the launch of the Free Speech Network, a campaign that argues a vibrant free press is essential to any democracy.
Labour leader Ed Miliband is expected to push ministers to accept whatever Lord Justice Leveson recommends.