Don Foster MP


Within hours, plan to license all journalists is quietly shelved

September 28, 2023 by admin in News

IVAN LEWIS, the shadow culture secretary, was accused last night of making the “fastest U “turn in history” after abandoning a proposal to license journalists.

Hours earlier, Mr Lewis suggested that media companies should consider “striking off” journalists guilty of “gross malpractice”.

He faced a barrage of criticism over concerns that it would lead to the state authorising journalists in a manner associated with totalitarian regimes. Mr Lewis said later that he was not proposing a state register of reporters. In his speech, the shadow culture secretary sought to capitalise on Labour’s perceived success in addressing the phone hacking scandal.

The Conservatives accused Mr Lewis of proposing “half”baked ideas”.

Louise Mensch, a Tory member of the Commons culture media and sport committee, said: “Ivan Lewis must be going for the record for the fastest U”turn in history. This is another half—baked idea from a weak Labour leadership. We need a free, fair press, not some state registry for journalists.”

Ed Miliband was forced to intervene in the growing row to make it clear that the official register was not Labour policy.

Don Foster , the Liberal Democrats’ media spokesman, said: “It is clear that self”regulation of the press has failed spectacularly and we need to put this right. But Labour’s plan for an official register is deeply flawed. It is muddled, completely unworkable and has worrying implications for Labour’s view of a free press. From your cousin’s occasional blog to some of the most respected journalists, all would be at risk of censure.”

Victims’ rights are to be enshrined in law, the shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan will say today. Mr Khan will unveil plans for a Victims’ Law and will pledge to put them at the centre of Labour’s criminal justice policy.

The law will give victims of crime an automatic right to meet the prosecutor in their case. They will also be able to speak with a Crown Prosecution Service lawyer at the key stages of the trial.

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