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Some 'positive news' in Queen's Speech – NUJ President

27 May 2010

The president of the NUJ has said that there is some positive news for NUJ members in the Queen's Speech, but he criticised the lack of detail. Pete Murray was responding to the speech, which set out the new UK government's proposed legislative programme for the next year.

The positive elements identified include proposals to reform libel laws, plans to stop the misuse of anti-terror legislation and the restoration of the right to peaceful protest.

Pete Murray said:

"Better flexible working rights for all employees and plans to close the pay gap could also bring positive changes for NUJ members and other workers in the UK.
"Unfortunately, a combination of a lack of detail and a determination to use the public sector as a cash cow for pet projects leaves us convinced that we are facing an extremely challenging time.
"The new government's funding plans for the roll out of superfast broadband marks the return of top-slicing the BBC licence fee and represents a further attack on public service broadcasting.
"The NUJ is calling on the new government to ensure the recent European Court of Human Rights decision, ruling that the stop and search powers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act are illegal, is recognised and upheld.
"We are concerned about the new government's lack of clarity on definitions of so-called 'responsible journalism' and the dogmatic adherence to the false belief that local authority newspapers represent unfair competition."

Full text of the speech and a list of bills is available on the GOV.UK website.

Tags: , queen's speech, libel reform, libel, protests, anti-terrorism laws, bbc, bbc licence fee, public service broadcasting, broadcasting, echr, stop and search, council publications, pay, broadband