13.12.12

Response from Norman Baker MP to Leveson Inquiry.

13 December 2012
heartofbalance@gmail.com Our ref: CW/TD/13122012/SDM

Dear Mr ******,

Thank you for your recent email regarding the recommendations made in the final report of the Leveson Inquiry.

The Lib Dems have led the debate on media accountability. In 2010 we were the first party to call for a judicial inquiry into phone-hacking, which led to the Leveson Inquiry. We have also been calling for a stronger Press Complaints Commission (PCC) since 2003.

Lib Dems have also never been in the media’s pocket – while other parties pandered to media moguls, we have consistently been the only party to raise concerns about media accountability and ownership. Politicians and the press have, in general, been too close for too long. We need to end these cosy relationships so that the press are free to hold politicians to account.

It should not be up to politicians or media proprietors, who both have vested interests, to decide how the press is regulated. That is why the government commissioned the Leveson Inquiry in the first place. We said we should implement his findings, provided they were proportionate and workable – and by and large they are.

I was therefore pleased when, breaking with parliamentary convention, Nick Clegg, Lib Dem leader, stood at the dispatch box and offered an alternative view to the Prime Minister from the government benches. I have enclosed a copy of the Deputy PM’s statement, for your information.

Cross-party talks are just now beginning to discuss the findings of Leveson and I hope these will lead to draft legislation being published in the near future, which I very much hope to be able to support.

I hope this is helpful.

Yours sincerely

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