PM slams peers over latest bid to launch Leveson 2
PM slams peers over latest attack on press freedom demanding the Lords ‘respects’ Commons decision against new Leveson probe
- Commons voted last week not to hold another expensive inquiry into the press
- Baroness Hollins has tabled another amendment in bid to overturn MPs decision
- PM’s spokesman said unelected peers should respect decision of elected MPs
Theresa May today tore into peers for launching a fresh assault on press freedom and urged them to ‘respect’ the decision of MPs not to hold a Leveson 2 inquiry.
The House of Commons voted last week not to launch another expensive inquiry into the press.
But unelected peers have vowed to defy the vote and are trying to reverse the decision by tabling an amendment to the Data Protection Bill demanding an inquiry.
The PM today urged the unelected chamber to heed the decision of MPs and abandon their bid to thwart the decision.
Mrs May’s official spokesman said: ‘Almost £50 million of public money has already been spent on investigating phone-hacking.
Unelected peers (pictured) are trying to reverse the decision by tabling an amendment to the Data Protection Bill demanding a Leveson 2 inquiry
‘Establishing a further public inquiry requiring great time and expense is not a proportionate solution to allegations that have already been the subject of extensive police investigations or ongoing investigations by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
‘The Government’s position that there should be no Leveson 2 inquiry was set out clearly in the manifesto. We would urge peers to respect the vote of the elected House of Commons last week and reject this amendment.’
The spokesman slammed peers for tabling a string of changes demanding Brexit is watered down, as well as calling for a Leveson 2.
And he warned that House of Lords is a ‘revising chamber’ and should not overstep its role by overturning MPs’ decisions.
He said: ‘We were very disappointed with some of the amendments passed in relation to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.
‘Similarly, we believe that the elected House of Commons spoke on Leveson 2 last week.
Theresa May (heading to church in Maidenhead with her husband Philip yesterday) has urged peers to respect the will of MPs and not to vote for a Leveson 2 inquiry
‘The House of Lords is a revising chamber. It has a role to play, but I think I’ve made our view clear in relation to Leveson and similarly I’ve made our position clear in relation to a number of those EU (Withdrawal) Bill amendments.’
The crossbench peer Baroness Hollins has tabled an amendment demanding another inquiry in how the press operates.
If peers pass it today then it will head back to the Commons where arch critics of the press will get another chance to vote for a Leveson 2 – overturning last week’s vote.
The vast majority of Labour MPs back another inquiry, with Ed Miliband promising ‘battle goes on’ to secure one in the aftermath of the defeat last week.
But defenders of press freedom have warned that holding another inquiry would be expensive and unfair as journalists accused of wrongdoing have already been hauled through the courts, and overwhelmingly acquitted.
Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned any attempt by the Lords to overturn the vote could plunge the UK into a constitutional crisis.
He said Mr Miliband’s efforts to get a second inquiry are ‘a disgrace’, and hat he is doing it as revenge for being mocked by the media for looking funny eating a bacon sandwich.
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