Yesterday, the Tories produced their plans for a “Royal Charter” as a response to the Leveson proposals.
I was also interviewed by BBC News 24.
My view is that these plans won’t do the job for those effected by hacking and press intrusion and isn’t what Leveson proposed.
There are two major flaws to these plans. First, there is no guarantee in these plans to ensure the Leveson settlement lasts over time. Second, there are elements of the Charter that fall short of Leveson, following discussions between DCMS and the press.
The charter falls short of Leveson in four ways;
1) Leveson said that the new arbitration process should be free for complainants to use, but this is not guaranteed
2) Appointments to the regulator – the Charter now allows “influence” from industry where Leveson said explicitly there should be none.
3) Proposals on the code of conduct, which do not allow the independent board of the regulator to make any amendments to the draft code put forward by the code committee, only to say yes or no to it in totality.
4) Third party complaints – a high bar is set for a complaint to be considered from anyone other than the affected person.
Hacked Off have done a some analysis of the plans and they think that of Leveson’s 30 recommendations only 5 are met, 23 aren’t, and two are unclear.