MPs reject bid to resurrect ‘Leveson 2’



Brendan O’Hara

Proposals to revive plans for another public inquiry into the conduct of the press have been narrowly defeated in the House of Commons.

MPs voted by 304-295 against a cross-party amendment to the Data Protection Bill tabled by Ed Miliband, Ken Clarke, Brendan O’Hara, Christine Jardine, Liz Saville Roberts and Caroline Lucas.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) voiced support for the Leveson 2 proposal but said it was concerned about a separate proposal, which was also defeated, on penalties for news publishers who break data protection laws.

Mr O’Hara, SNP spokesperson for culture and media, told the Commons that his party supported a second inquiry “as long as the Scottish Government are consulted and the Scottish legal system is taken into account”.

However, he rejected the separate proposal from Tom Watson and Liam Byrne concerning penalties for news publishers who break data protection laws.

Mr O’Hara said the proposed clause 20 “seeks to impose on Scotland a system of press regulation from Westminster, even though this is wholly devolved”.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said following the debate: “A great day for a free and fair press. We will work with closely IPSO to make sure their important work continues.”