Lords vote for second Leveson probe into press conduct

From BBC - January 10, 2018

Peers have backed a proposal that would require Theresa May to proceed with the second stage of the Leveson inquiry.

Crossbench peer Baroness Hollins had tabled an amendment to the Data Protection Bill currently going through Parliament. She was backed by 238 votes to 209, defeating the government.

Stage two would examine unlawful action by media organisations, plus relations between journalists and the police.

New Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said it would be an attack on press freedom.

Lord Leveson was appointed by David Cameron in 2011 to chair an inquiry into the conduct of the press in the wake of phone hacking allegations against the News of the World.

In his original terms of reference, it was envisaged the inquiry would be split into two parts. The first, looking at the culture and practices of the press and relations between politicians, press and the police, took place in 2011 and 2012, with a full report in November 2012.

The second part, which has yet to take place, was scheduled to consider the extent of improper conduct and governance failings by individual newspaper groups, how these were investigated by the police and whether police officers received corrupt payments or inducements.

But in their election manifesto last year, the Conservatives said that it no longer planned to proceed with this part of the inquiry.

The party said Lord Leveson's initial inquiry had been sufficiently "comprehensive".


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