UK & World News
Leveson: Cameron To Urge Editors To Act
The Prime Minister will meet newspaper editors next week, to discuss the future of press regulation and whether the industry can deliver it alone.
It comes as an online petition demanding the Government act on Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations in full has attracted more than 80,000 supporters in less than 24 hours.
Support for the petition launched by Hacked Off, the group campaigning for victims of phone hacking, has doubled overnight.
The Culture Secretary has warned newspaper editors not to drag their feet in acting on Lord Justice Leveson's calls for setting up a new press watchdog.
Maria Miller, joined by David Cameron, will meet the newspaper industry's most powerful editors next week to push for urgent action.
Downing Street said the PM will call for a timetable to be set for creating a new independent press watchdog.
Lord Hunt of Wirral, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, who will also attend, told The Times he wanted a speedy industry resolution to help persuade the public and MPs†that laws were not needed to underpin the new independent regulator.
"There's an awful lot we can agree on and I have suggested to the industry (that we) all read the report, digest it and seek out the common ground and unite with one voice," he said.
Ms Miller's warning will come the day before editors on the Code of Practice Committee, chaired by Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, meet to decide how to tackle the Leveson recommendations.
Mr Dacre said: "Lord Justice Leveson has set us a number of challenges: our task is to address them as urgently as possible."
It comes as reports emerged that Foreign Secretary William Hague warned Cabinet colleagues earlier this week that a "Leveson law" would undermine the UK's ability to address freedom of speech issues globally, particularly on cases such as the jailing of punk band Pussy Riot in Russia.
A Government source told The Daily Telegraph: "It was a very serious presentation. He warned that Britain demonstrating that we have a free press is part of our ability to say we believe in democracy."
But David Cameron is under intense pressure to drop his opposition to a law backing up the new watchdog the press has been tasked with devising.
The Prime Minister is facing a backlash from victims of media intrusion over his resistance to legislation.
Author JK Rowling has said that she felt "duped and angry" by Mr Cameron's hesitance to "cross the Rubicon" and introduce a press law.
The Harry Potter author, who gave evidence about press intrusion into her family's privacy to the inquiry, said: "If the Prime Minister did not wish to change the regulatory system even to the moderate, balanced and proportionate extent proposed by Lord Leveson, I am at a loss to understand why so much public money has been spent and why so many people have been asked to relive extremely painful episodes on the stand in front of millions."
The most high-profile victims of phone hacking refused to meet the Culture Secretary on Friday, saying they felt let down by Mr Cameron's response.
Despite the boycott, Ms Miller has met the leaders of the Hacked Off campaign and described the talks as frank.
Madeleine McCann's father Gerry said giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry would have been "almost useless" if the proposals were not implemented in full, and urged the Prime Minister to "do the right thing".
London bombing hero Paul Dadge, a victim of phone hacking, said he was very disappointed with Mr Cameron's stance and called on him to back the public rather than the press.
Christopher Jefferies, the landlord wrongly arrested for the murder of Joanna Yeates, warned it would be a "disaster" if the recommendation on legislation was ignored, and said he would feel "let down" by Mr Cameron.
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 on Thursday.
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.
Mr Cameron immediately voiced "serious concerns and misgivings" about legislative action, and said the press should be given a "limited period of time" to show it could get its own house in order.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "Many of the victims of sections of the press will be feeling utterly betrayed by David Cameron."
what do you think?
The average joe public should be assigned a press officer in times of turmoil to give statements to the press rather than solicitors and relatives. Celebrities already have agents to speak on their behalf if necessary.
Mr Cameron says Mr Murdoch says he doesn't want press regulation so there wont be any. End of.
Camerons mates are the old boys network, so its not surprising that he won't do anything. Newspapers are a waste of time and money, no decent reporting, just trash.
The only useful thing I can think about for UK newspapers is to tear them up into six inch squares and hang them up on a string in an outside kahzi.
Windows Live User
should come ready with a hole in the corner Fred
d and d Phillips
617,213 people have signed the petition against G ay marriage. Cameron isn't listening. Politicians just do what they please.
Are they all straight ?
Also means 60,000,000 have not signed it
Windows Live User
The laws governing control of the press failed miserably, but what failed worse was the self control of the press.
Did the laws fail or the policing of the laws 2 very different things I assume phone hacking has always been illegal Laws failed to stop it happening What will new laws do if they are ignored or not enforced
Windows Live User
Who on earth is it with their hands up the back of Cameron coat working him?
Tony Blair ?
How many of those who have signed the petition have read the report in full or are they just jumping on a band wagon
They won't be selling news papers and Mr Murdoch wont want that. Cameron has probably had a bung from him already.
This is not just about newspapers Robert.
Those signing the petition should be careful what they wish for. Without free press we would probably still be in the dark regarding the massive parliamentary troughing that took place a few years ago. People should take a step back from political allegiance, ignore self serving millionairs like rowling and grant and think on it.
It's obvious the press can't self regulate because they've all been at it, intruding in peoples lives in one form or another, when they are caught out they issue an apology, usually in small print int the middle of a page no one reads.What would they have done over the phone hacking scandal, what have they done? None of the self regulatory lot have done anything about the Murdochs why? because they are mostly all scared stiff of being found out over the same or similar practices. As for Cameron, he must be in a turmoil because what he doe's will affect his major backers and supporters. He must be really upset now as some of his cronies are up at Court later this month and he can't do much to help them.
we should all remember it was the Press/media that dug up the MPs Expenses scandle, The Jimmy Saville experience Any regulations should not be there to prevent this type of exposure the problem is that those with money will use it to do so