UK & World News
Leveson: McCann Urges PM To Remember Victims
Gerry McCann has firmly pressed the Prime Minister to pass a new press law and urged him not to ignore the stories of the Leveson inquiry victims.
The father of missing Madeleine McCann said it was time for politicians to "do the right thing" and that if they did not do so his evidence would have been "almost useless".
Speaking the day after Lord Justice Leveson presented his proposals for a new watchdog, backed by law, Mr McCann said that the victims of press intrusion had given evidence to the inquiry so others would not suffer the same fate.
He said: "I think the only reason we went to Leveson was to effect change and if Leveson's report isn't implemented in full then I would say that giving evidence for all of the victims has been almost useless.
"For almost all the victims, the reason they were there was to stop other, ordinary people who were caught up in the most unfortunate circumstances suffering unnecessarily beyond what's happened to them.
"And I feel if Leveson is implemented we will be some way on that route."
In evidence to the inquiry last year, Mr McCann's wife, Kate, said she felt like "climbing into a hole and not coming out" after the personal diary she started in the wake of her daughter's disappearance was printed in the News Of The World.
The victims of phone hacking and press intrusion have launched an e-petition calling for all of Lord Justice Leveson's proposals for regulating the press to be implemented.
The actor Hugh Grant, Mr McCann and Chris Jefferies, a retired school teacher who won damages from eight newspapers who had linked him with the murder of Joanna Yeates in Bristol in December 2010, kicked off the Hacked Off campaign.
Mr Cameron has accepted a new independent watchdog is needed but rejected the call for new legislation to back it.
This has put him on a collision course with his coalition partners, the opposition and victims of press intrusion.
Earlier, Culture Secretary Maria Miller insisted the "principles" of Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations to reform the press could be met without statutory backing.
Ms Miller said the coalition was drafting new legislation to prove why the Prime Minister has "grave misgivings" about the idea and how it could curb "freedom of speech".
She told Sky News: "I feel very strongly you should have grave concerns about putting in place a piece of legislation which could have the effect in the long term of really bringing into question the ability to maintain freedom of speech in this country.
"But also on a practical level, we don't think it is necessary to have that statutory underpinning to achieve the objectives which we all agree on, which is to have strong, tough, independent self-regulation which is something that we need in this country to address the problems we have experienced in recent years."
Trevor Kavanagh, associate editor of The Sun, also warned such a move would be "the first step down the road to state intervention in the operation of newspapers".
"I think what the Prime Minister is doing is trying to safeguard freedom of the press. It is a hard won, hard fought for right and a freedom which dates back 300 years," he told Sky News.
On Thursday, Lord Justice Leveson condemned the "culture of reckless and outrageous journalism" that dominated sections of the press for decades as he unveiled the findings of his 16-month inquiry.
The Appeal Court judge called for a new watchdog with statutory underpinning to be given the power to require prominent apologies and impose fines of as much as £1m.
The three party leaders held talks on Thursday night and the negotiations will reconvene "soon". But the prospect of the consensus Mr Cameron says he wants to achieve appeared distant as all three parties continued to look at the fine detail of the 2,400-page report.
Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry was prompted by the disclosure that News Of The World journalists hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
what do you think?
What was the point in the inquiry if cameron is going to ignore it?!! It must be sickening for proper journalists to see their proffession dragged through the mud like this. I somehow dont think they would mind regulations being put in place to help worm out the dirty reporters who only care about pay and not about fictional stories or destroying lives.
Why have the inquiry if the results are to be ignored?
I wonder if all The leaks and slaying of the press were deliberate in an attempt reign in the press and control them. This is so dangerous for our civil rights. Soviet Britain is on the way. Complete sensorship is on the way. A totalitarian government with a state controlled press which will have knock on effects for all over media outlets. The internet is about to be fully monitored- we are just waiting for them to flick the switch. Its all in place now. Cctv, state controlled press, totalitarian controlled internet. Its happening now! Faster than you can say 1984.
Like all enquires there is a lot of hype then nothing - we did warn you Little David that there was trouble ahead
There should be changes in the law to protect the average joe public.i dont care about peaple like hugh grant who i believe holds a grudge against the press since he got caught seeing a pro whilst with liz hurley, he got caught out good and proper.this comes with his chosen profession, a film star same goes for anyone in the spotlight.but when they are hounding peaple who are in grief, a dead child, a missing child, they need protecting from reporters who are just after a story.a p r spokesman should be employed on their behalf.not having their phones tapped and an entourage of press outside their houses for 24 hrs a day.the same applies to tv reporters.
Agreed Shaun, It is clear Mr Grant has his own agenda in this matter and can anyone explain to me why he was given an entire TV programme the other night to push his case??.
I'm all in favour of a "free press", if only to expose scandals like MP's expenses. However, all freedom comes with responsibilities, something certain members of the press (and broadcasting media) seem to have forgotten. Let's hope there is a middle way............
Windows Live User
I would agree with you if only something happened to those exposed as law breakers otherwise what is the point?
Windows Live User, An excellent point, all too often "those exposed" seem to get away with it...............
Will we get an unbiased 2 sided argument ? I doubt it. The newspapers will fight tooth and nail and will only give their opinion. The fact is that sensational headlines sell newspapers and if it's a load of tosh they can always retract later with a half hearted apology. They definitely need reining in and as others have noted what's the point of an enquiry if you don't follow it up?
Windows Live User
He was rather quick to respond to a 2400page report wasnt he? Did he have an agenda already?
Yes...written for him by the Daily Mail most likely.
Pity they dont fall out for good and force a general election, but Clegg would never do that as he will want to hang on to his personal glory for a couple more years before his party is all but wiped out. As for Leveson, another few million down the drain, still soon make that up by squeezing the plebs a little more.
Mr Murdoch says "Jump" CallMeDave says "How high". Simple as that. Cameron is prioritising the support of Murdoch's papers before anything else.
but then he learnt well off blair
The Conservative MP Rees-Mogg summed up either his, or the Tories as a whole attitude to those whose lives have been devastated by the uncontrolled attacks of the less responsible areas of the media on Newsnight last night. "We don't care about you, or what suffering you have undergone...you are unimportant little nobodies. What matters most is that we have the support of the media coming up to elections. If that means more suffering by those who cannot afford to take media barons to court, then so be it....the party comes first".
Dave I believe that sums up all parties - Power at all costs is more important than public service
Cameron called the inquiry in order to dampen down the stories and to kick the scandal into the long grass before it boiled over and dug any deeper, particularly digging deeper into his own and his government's links with the Murdoch Mafia. Their cosiness thus far revealed was only the tip of the iceberg. The big media barons should have their companies broken up, only one proprietor per newspaper and journalists should be freed and protected from being made to chase unethical stories.
Chris was not the Murdock empire a major supporter of labour whist this was going on What a short memory socialist have
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
So now we need an inquiry into why the original inquiry was supposedly ignored and after that another inquiry into who knows what else... waste of time and money. Couldn't care less about celebs but i feel for the likes of Chris Jefferies.
Don't always agree with you Lorgar, but you're spot on with this.
The three party leaders held talks on thursday night how best to take away the freedom of the press to expose the corrupt in westminster,whitehall,banks,police ect. Two to play bad cops,one good cop under pressure from all sides,and will have to give in eventually. What was done to ordinary people by some papers was immoral and illegal and laws were in place to prosecute,so why is it taking so long to get certain people behind bars. Newspapers do need some ethical standards, but legislation and making them in effect controled by government/law is not the way forward,and does nothing for our freedom which is being erroded in big chunks.
Gerry McCann Such an ambitious man It would have done more for their cause if Chris Jeffries had been spokesperson - he was a real victim.
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.