Leveson Report: Nick Clegg joins forces with Labour on regulatory Bill

 

Divisions between David Cameron and Nick Clegg on press regulation widened yesterday as the Liberal Democrat leader joined forces with Labour over how the Government should respond to the Leveson Report.

Mr Clegg and Ed Miliband are furious with the Prime Minister for suggesting that a draft Bill to be drawn up in line with Lord Justice Leveson's proposals would merely be a wrecking device to show how difficult it would be to turn them into law. Mr Cameron, who rejected the key Leveson plan for independent self-regulation of the press to be underpinned by legislation, promised the draft measure during talks with the two other party leaders.

At the time, Mr Clegg and Mr Miliband thought the Prime Minister had made a genuine offer. They were dismayed by No 10's suggestion that Mr Cameron would use the process to undermine the case for legislation.

The Deputy Prime Minister will work to ensure the draft Bill is a serious attempt to provide a workable system of press regulation. His spokesman said yesterday: "The statement that this Bill is being drafted to show that it will not work does not reflect the position agreed by all three party leaders in the talks on Thursday.

"The Liberal Democrats in government will ensure the Bill is drafted in good faith. We owe that to the public and the victims."

But Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, took a different line, saying: "The reason why we have such grave misgivings about putting in place such a piece of statutory underpinning is because of the very extensive nature of that legislation for it to be effective. We want to draw that up and share that with the opposition parties and with our Coalition partners to be able to demonstrate that to them. I think when they see that they will too understand where our concerns come from."

Labour sources said it was "ludicrous" for the Conservatives to use the draft Bill as a stick with which to beat the newspaper industry, while at the same time making clear they had no intention of turning it into real legislation.

Mr Miliband said he was prepared to depart from some of the Leveson proposals in order to achieve a cross-party consensus. These include two issues on which Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg have reservations – extending the broadcast regulator Ofcom's remit to the press and proposals to change the Data Protection Act which critics say would have a chilling effect on investigative journalism.

A Labour source said: "We are showing we are serious in our desire to build a consensus by agreeing it is right for Parliament to look at the detail of these proposals."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Arts and Entertainment
Ugne, 32, is a Lithuanian bodybuilder
tvThey include a Lithuanian bodybuilder who believes 'cake is a sin' and the Dalai Lama's personal photographer
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon have just launched their new streaming service in the UK
music
News
Frankie Boyle
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Project Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an est...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Representative - OTE £55,000

£30000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Why not be in charge of your ow...

Recruitment Genius: Business Operations Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation based in Peac...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £43,000

£20000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful and rapidly gro...

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food