The Labour Party has today, 10 December, published a draft Bill to implement Lord Leveson’s central recommendations of independent self regulation of the press – guaranteed by law.
The draft Bill, called the ‘Press Freedom and Trust Bill,’ shows it is possible to bring forward proposals which support a strong free press, while being neither invasive nor cumbersome.
The Bill contains six clauses and a Schedule, based on the Leveson Report’s recommendations. The Bill guarantees media freedom and includes legal incentives for publishers who sign up to the new system. It also establishes a recognition panel to make sure the new self-regulatory body remains independent and effective, and the minimum requirements for it to judge the self-regulator by.
Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy leader and the Shadow Culture Secretary, has written to Maria Miller requesting that this draft Bill is discussed at the next round of cross-party talks, which are due to take place on Thursday 13 December.
Labour has already discussed this Bill in detail with parliamentarians from all sides of the House who want to see the central recommendations of Leveson Report implemented.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“This Bill would put into effect the central recommendation of Lord Justice Leveson’s report – legal backing for the new system of independent self-regulation by the press. The Bill would ensure that the system was verified at the outset and given a health check once every three years.
“This Bill is an offer to MPs on all sides of the House who want to implement Leveson’s proposals. It shows that a Bill can be done in a way that is not cumbersome or invasive, and I look forward to the cross party talks on Thursday.”