Peer claims press has launched anti-Leveson campaign

The press has launched a campaign to undermine the importance of the Leveson Inquiry into phone-hacking and press standards, according to the former chairman of the Birmingham Post Lord Fowler.

Fowler claimed in the House of Lords this week that the campaign was being led by ‘some in the press who say that the matter should be left to the press to sort out for itself”.

‘Is it not the past failure of the press to take action that has led to this independent inquiry?’the former Transport Minister said.

‘Is its importance not further underlined by the mounting evidence that the phone-hacking scandal extends beyond the News of the World to other papers?”

During the debate on phone-hacking Baroness O’Cathain said she was ‘sure that there is truth in the suggestion’by Fowler and asked whether anything could be done to stop it, adding: ‘This seems to undermine the whole principle of a free press and free expression.”

Responding to the claims, Tory Peer Baroness Rawlings replied on behalf of the Government: ‘We are not aware of a campaign against Leveson or his inquiry… we wish it the best passage.”

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