07 OCT 2019
Thank you for your email about victim journalism.
In 2017 manifesto the Liberal Democrats made the commitment, in light of the press's failure to engage in effective self-regulation, seek to ensure delivery of independent self-regulation, and commence part two of the Leveson inquiry as soon as practicable. In 2018 when it was announced the second Leveson Inquiry will not go ahead after victims lost a High Court fight against the Government, the Liberal Democrats voiced concerns that this issue had been kicked into the long grass, in an attempt to forget it.
We have committed to:
• Introduce a digital bill of rights that protects people's powers over their own information, supports individuals over large corporations, and preserves the neutrality of the internet.
• End the ministerial veto on release of information under the Freedom of Information Act, and take steps to reduce the proportion of FOI requests where information is withheld by government departments.
• Order Ofcom to launch an immediate full assessment of media plurality in the UK, including a review of the 'fit and proper persons test' and whether the communications regulator, and the Competition and Markets Authority, have appropriate powers to deal with concentrations of power in the digital economy.
We need to protect the independence and freedom of the press and we should not go down the route of press regulation by the State. Existing arrangements however are continuing to individuals being subject to unacceptable levels of intrusion and their rights must not be abandoned.
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