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Leveson reveals need to shine a light on corporate lobbying

Responding to this afternoon’s publication of the Leveson report and its recommendations for statutory press regulation, Unlock Democracy director Peter Facey said:

“The Leveson Inquiry painted a picture of scandals upon scandals, shedding light not just on the failings of the current system of media self-regulation, but on the extent to which major media corporations invest their time and money secretly lobbying politicians. Without the inquiry, the scurrilous relationship between Jeremy Hunt, David Cameron and NewsCorp would have never come to light.

“But it shouldn’t take special inquiries to open up secret lobbying to public scrutiny.  We desperately need a statutory lobbying register to ensure we have a better idea of what is going on at the time it is happening rather than years after the event.

“Leveson has shown us that the present means of media self-regulation are woefully inadequate. We welcome Lord Leveson’s call for the freedom of the press to be enshrined in UK law; how this can work in practice in tandem with a statutory underpinning of media regulation is a matter of further debate.  The pressure is on the media to prove that that individual rights will not be ignored under self-regulation - not just over the next few months, but long after the furore has died down.”