Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Cameron angers victims of phone hacking -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

ASHLEY HALL: Phone hacking victims are lining up to condemn the British prime minister David Cameron for his response to the recommendations of a high level inquiry into the media.

Overnight, Lord Justice Leveson handed down the recommendations from his eight month inquiry.

Among them, he's called for a new watchdog to curb the worst behaviour of the press.

LORD LEVESON: I am proposing independent regulation of the press organised by the press itself, with the statutory process to support press freedom, provide stability and guarantee for the public that this new body is independent and effective.

ASHLEY HALL: But David Cameron has already ruled out legislating press controls.

His coalition partners are furious and so are hacking victims.

Europe correspondent Rachael Brown reports.

RACHAEL BROWN: Ask many in Britain about the Leveson Inquiry and they'll say the journey was more important than the destination.

GEORGE BROCK: Just to get the dirty laundry out in where it can be seen is a very valuable function for an inquiry in itself.

RACHAEL BROWN: Former Observer reporter, George Brock, is now a journalism professor at City University London.

GEORGE BROCK: It's all very well for people in the media industry to say well this inquiry didn't tell us anything we didn't already know, but actually it told the population of the country a great deal that it didn't know about how the media operated.

I don't think it's the end of the story because I think there are going to be some terrific political rows from here on.

RACHAEL BROWN: The big row will be over Lord Justice Leveson's recommendation to have the new watchdog backed by legislation.

BRIAN LEVESON: This is not statutory regulation of the press.

RACHAEL BROWN: But the prime minister's hesitant to legislate.

DAVID CAMERON: The issue of principal is that for the first time we would have crossed the Rubicon or writing elements of press regulation into the law of the land.

The danger is this would create a vehicle for politicians whether today or sometime in the future, to impose regulation and obligations on the press, something that Lord Justice Leveson himself wishes to avoid.

RACHAEL BROWN: He's left victims feeling cheated.

JANE WINTER: His response was "as long as it is not bonkers, I'll do that". Well I saw the report this morning, it doesn't look bonkers to me.

RACHAEL BROWN: Jane Winter's computer was hacked while she was running an NGO.

JANE WINTER: I think he's gone back on his word and I feel betrayed.

RACHAEL BROWN: Filmmaker Ed Blum's phone was hacked.

ED BLUM: With Cameron's statement today he's let down victim of press abuse. He's also ripped out the heart and soul of the Leveson report.

RACHAEL BROWN: Dr Evan Harris from the campaign group Hacked Off says it will keep pushing for all of the recommendations to be adopted.

EVAN HARRIS: It wouldn't have escaped you to recognise that with two parties apparently signed up and a significant number of conservatives, there is a parliamentary majority to implement the Leveson report.

RACHAEL BROWN: Another group member, Brian Cathcart, has praised the Leveson report.

BRIAN CATHCART: This contains a balanced package of measures designed to protect press freedom and to give proper recognition to the rights of victims of press abuse.

RACHAEL BROWN: The press says it's already lifted its game in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

John Witherow is the editor of the Sunday Times.

JOHN WITHEROW: I really do think things have changed and the tabloid press has learnt its lessons.

RACHAEL BROWN: Daniel Finkelstein is the Times' executive editor.

DANIEL FINKELSTEIN: The press will not be able to mark its own homework, Brian was clear about that. I think the press realises that period is over.

RACHAEL BROWN: The ex-Formula One boss, Max Mosley, has long argued only the rich can afford to take newspapers to court for defamation. He's not convinced the future will be any easier for victims.

MAX MOSLEY: I would have liked to see something in there about people being able to go to arbiter body, which is free, under his proposals when they know that there's a breach of privacy coming in order to get it stopped, whereas at the moment, even under Leveson's proposals, if you're in that situation you're going to have to go to court to get it stopped and that's very expensive.

RACHAEL BROWN: This is just some of the report's unfinished business. Commentators say it also falls short on media ownership and plurality, and data protection.

The Sunday Times' John Witherow again.

JOHN WITHEROW: He wants to change the law so that you have to commit virtually while you're investigating to print the story. Now often in investigations that doesn't happen. You investigate, the story doesn't stand up, you abandon it.

RACHAEL BROWN: But the prime minister David Cameron will have to stare down some strong political opposition to his stance on the Leveson report.

The junior coalition partner, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, broke ranks to back the call for a statutory regulatory body to oversee the press.

NICK CLEGG: Without that there cannot be the change we need and Lord Justice Leveson is 100 per cent clear about that in his report.

RACHAEL BROWN: This is Rachael Brown in London, reporting for The World Today.