RELEASE DATE: 14 October 2013[frame align=”left”] [/frame]ATTEMPTS by Parliament to get answers from Sir Brian Leveson on vital aspects of his report amounted to a farce, says the Chartered Institute of Journalists.
Sir Brian was called before the Culture Media and Sport Committee in Westminster last week, (Thursday October 10) to answer questions on press regulation from concerned MPs.
The CIoJ’s Professional Practices Board Chairman Amanda Brodie, who attended the meeting, said: “This committee put a series of very important questions to Sir Brian on press regulation, investigative journalism and the impact of his proposals on newspapers, especially the local Press, and of course on the royal charter plans.
“But often his replies amounted to declining to comment, or simply directing MPs back to his published report. It was obvious that the MPs around the table were increasingly frustrated with this, and we share that frustration.”
Committee chairman John Whittingdale said the Prime Minister had told him they were essentially “stuck” over the royal charter issue, and pressed Sir Brian for a view on it, which he declined to give on the basis that it would be wrong of him to comment on a politically controversial issue, adding: “This is your problem, not mine.”
Ms Brodie said: “The Leveson inquiry took 15 months to complete and cost £5m, yet vital questions still remain. Many of these were put to Sir Brian but essentially remain unanswered, even after a three-hour session. And the timing of the meeting was not good, coming just 24 hours before Maria Miller’s announcement on Friday about the royal charter, giving no time for any meaningful consideration of the issues raised.
“Frankly, the whole thing was a bit of a farce – it was too little, too late.”