David Davis MP backs Cameron over Leveson caution


As reported in the Hull Daily Mail;

“MP David Davis has “wholeheartedly welcomed” the Prime Minister’s caution over new laws to regulate the press.

The Haltemprice and Howden MP was speaking after David Cameron told MPs he supported Lord Leveson’s call for a tougher regulatory body for newspapers.

However, the Prime Minister also said he had “serious concerns and misgivings” about backing that with legislation, fearing it could “cross the Rubicon” and infringe free speech.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Davis said: “Our highest priority, whatever we do, is to preserve the independence and freedom of the press from Government control.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband, meanwhile, said his party backed new legislation outlined by Lord Leveson, a view also supported by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

In his 2,000-page report, Lord Justice Leveson said the press must create a new and tough regulator, backed by legislation, to ensure it was effective.

He said the press had failed to properly regulate itself in the past, but he believed the law could be used to “validate” a new body.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott, a target of phone hackers, tweeted that he was happy Lord Leveson had “accepted my recommendations for independent voluntary regulator with teeth”.

He said: “I welcome it. I’ve always supported a statutory framework, but we’ll see how far the press moves before we get to the legislation.”

Hull North MP Diana Johnson said she hoped for cross- party support for new regulation.

She said: “A free press is essential in a free country, able to hold the powerful to account without fear or favour.

“However, we cannot go on with the previous position.”

In a section of the report on local and regional newspapers, Lord Leveson said their “contribution to local life is truly without parallel”.

He also said the regulatory model set out in his report “should not provide an added burden to the regional and local press”.

Lord Leveson said: “Local, high-quality and trusted newspapers are good for our communities, our identity and our democracy and play an important social role.”

Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson agreed, saying: “The problems with press intrusion and unacceptable behaviour relate to national newspapers.

“Local and regional titles such as the Hull Daily Mail have never been part of the problem and must not be adversely affected by the solution.””