The looming shadow of Leveson

Lord Justice Leveson

At any time the news that Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks were facing yet another set of serious criminal charges would have been difficult for David Cameron. This, though, is not just any time.

It is little more than a week before the Leveson report into the culture, standards and ethics of the press is due to be published.

Lord Justice Leveson is expected to spell out - perhaps in politically painful detail - the story of the web of connections between journalists, politicians and the police.

He may raise questions about the wisdom of Mr Cameron's decision to hire the editor who resigned from the News of the World when phone hacking was first revealed and to befriend Rupert Murdoch's right-hand woman.

What's more, Leveson will make recommendations for a new system of press regulation which look likely to be the subject of a bitter political debate.

If Leveson recommends any form of new law to regulate the press the prime minister will face an unpalatable choice. Say yes and he will face an angry backlash from most national newspapers and most Conservatives including close allies in the Cabinet.

Say no and he will be confronted by a coalition of the victims of phone hacking, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and some Tory MPs.

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  • rate this

    Comment number 138.

    I would like to know why Leveson is not interested in the private messages between Cameron and Brooks that were not disclosed to the enquiry. A Downing Street lawyer decided they were not material to the enquiry - Leveson should have decided that.

    Remember what the enquiry was for?

    If Leveson does not look into this point, for me you can just take his report and toss it in the bin directly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 137.

    135. I rather fear that the dragging of the press into the gutter was Blair's embracing of Murdoch in the 1990s. In terms of timelines of what who knew and when, then Wikipedia's, "News International phone hacking scandal" is interesting in this regard. However, we know that the last Labour government was fully aware - as was the police - of phone hacking but chose to do nothing. Zippo. Zilch.

  • rate this

    Comment number 136.


    Are you looking for agreement that Labour and the BBC colluded to get Levenson set up? It seems strange that Cameron would go for that doesn't it? Surely back before the election if he knew all the stuff about hacking, especially the really terrible material, he would have hassled Brown to set up the enquiry in 2009/2010? If not, why not? Back then he loved a good bandwagon......

  • rate this

    Comment number 135.

    No121 Terry,
    You seem to be implying that 'press intrusion' began in 1997
    Do you think that Margaret's embrace of the 'Dirty Digger' in the early eightie's helped to lay the foundations for the British press being dragged into the gutters?.

  • rate this

    Comment number 134.

    David's friends Coulson and Rebekah charged with conspiracy.
    No mention in the Sun.
    It is wonderful to have a 'free press'.
    Madonna's 'skimpy' swimsuit gets the full treatment.
    Well done Rupert.


Comments 5 of 138


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