"Leveson Part 2 is unfinished business" says NUJ general secretary
6 March 2018
The National Union of Journalists has called for a cross party campaign against the government’s decision to shelve the second stage of the Leveson inquiry.
NUJ general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet, said the decision not to allow Lord Leveson to complete his task is "bad for politics, bad for journalism and bad for the public."
She said trust in journalism and in the integrity of the political process would only be restored if politicians had the courage to stand up to vested interests who had learned nothing from the events which brought about the first Leveson report.
"Leveson Part 2 is unfinished business. It is vital that the public learns the extent of the unlawful conduct within News International and other publications. Recent settlements made by Trinity Mirror with individuals whose phones had been hacked demonstrate the industrial scale of the problem. The corporate cover-ups of phone hacking has resulted in costly litigation, significant payoffs to hacking victims at the same time as ruining the careers of many journalists who have been shafted by their employers. This has all served to damage trust in journalism and completing this inquiry would play a crucial role in restoring that trust.
"At the same time, there needs to be a proper investigation into the relationship between the police and media companies. Was the Met's Clouseau-style investigation into telephone hacking, which backed the company's line that it was just a couple of 'rogue reporters', due to ineptitude or was it because of the cosy relationship between senior executives of both organisations, with high-ranking officers being rewarded with lucrative columns in Murdoch's newspapers? There needs to be an investigation into the mass amnesia and 'ignorance' of newspaper executives at the Leveson inquiry and at parliamentary committee hearings. There are still outstanding issues about key figures in the Murdoch Family Trust and fundamental questions remain unanswered as the Murdoch family continue to attempt to take over Sky."
The terms of reference for the Leveson inquiry part two included:
- The extent of unlawful or improper conduct within newspapers and other media organisations
- How the police investigated allegations or evidence of unlawful conduct connected to News International
- Investigate the extent the police received corrupt payments, other inducements and/or were complicit in such misconduct or the suppression of proper investigations
- Inquire into the extent of corporate governance and management failures at newspapers organisations and the role of politicians, public servants and others in any failure to investigate wrongdoing at News International
- To consider the implications for the relationships between newspaper organisations and the police, prosecuting authorities, and relevant regulatory bodies – and to recommend what actions, if any, should be taken.