A Labour government would rein in the influence of media tycoons like Rupert Murdoch, the party said yesterday.
Its 86-page manifesto, now published in full, said: “No media owner should have so much power that those who run it believe themselves above the rule of law.”
The pre-election document also said the party is “strongly committed to the implementation of the recommendations of the Leveson inquiry”.
However, this proposal was blasted by Conservative John Whittingdale, who chaired the culture, media, and sport select committee during the last parliament. The committee conducted investigations into the phone hacking scandal.
Whittingdale told City A.M. that “parliament legislating over control of the press is extremely dangerous”.
He went on to accuse Labour of “setting a policy that is 30 years out of date”, due to the growth of online news sources.
Whittingdale also said that the changes brought in under the coalition have gone far enough, arguing that it is up to newspapers to decide whether or not they subscribe to the new Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso).
He believes that Ipso “should be given a chance to work”.
But Labour insists the next government needs to go further. The manifesto says: “We made a promise to the victims of the phone hacking scandal. We stand by that promise.”
The manifesto blasts narrow media ownership for exerting “undue influence” on the public.
Labour pledged to keep Channel 4 in public hands if it wins as well.
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