Implement Leveson says Fabian
Fabian is standing squarely behind Ed Milliband, Party Leader and Ed Balls Shadow Chancellor in calling for the findings of the Leveson report into press standards to be fully implemented. Like the majority of his colleagues on the Labour benches, Fabian is appalled and dismayed at Prime Minister David Cameron's equivocation concerning the need for a legally binding system of press regulation.
Fabian said, "Some newspaper publishers have shown just how low it is possible to sink in terms of press standards. The hacking of private voice mail messages, the alleged bribing of public officials and squalid inaccurate and defamatory reporting have revealed just how obscene the cavalier attitude and culture in newspaper publishing has become. To ensure that this does not re-occur we must have a system of regulation to ensure standards and to penalise those who might, in the future, seek to bring them into disrepute again."
The debate about the aftermath of Leveson has been started by the Prime Minister who is apparently back-tracking on his commitment to carry out the recommendations of the inquiry. For whatever reason he is resisting the idea of any government control or role in a body to oversee the press, control standards and penalise infractions of any press code. He is clinging to the now discredited concept of self regulation by the publishing industry.
Fabian went on to say, "I recognise there is a justifiable a concern to ensure that no government, either now or in the future, should be able to shackle or control a free press but this argument is being used to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Other aspects of UK society work well with regulation. There are bodies, set up under statute, that control standards in health care, education, water supply and the legal profession. None is immune from criticism from time to time but they are effectively run by independent personnel who do not take instructions from politicians and they do manage to control standards properly. Even though their chief executives are chosen by the government, the law surrounding regulatory bodies ensures that they operate well beyond the arms length of politicians in power. For David Cameron to fight shy of doing the same for the press, which, by its conduct has, shown such contempt for integrity, makes me again suspect that the notoriously close links between the Conservative Party and the Press Barons are still alive and well despite Leveson."
Fabian is committed to working in whatever way he can to secure a system of press regulation underpinned by the law as conceived by the respected findings of the Leveson Inquiry.
Full details of the Leveson report are available on line - Click here