Lords back second Leveson inquiry in fresh government revolt

Miranda Blazeby
The Lords have defied the government for a second time
The Lords have defied the government for a second time (Source: Getty)

MPs have voted for the second time in a week against re-launching the Leveson inquiry into the behaviour of the press.

The House of Commons yesterday overturned a Lords amendment backing the second stage of the inquiry with 301 votes to 289 after the government was forced to promise additional press scrutiny.

The amendment has been bouncing between the House of Lords and MPs since January when the Lords first defied the government over the issue.

This third rejection from the House of Commons is likely to put an end to the campaign for a second inquiry.

The second Leveson inquiry would span data misuse by social media companies and relations between the police and press.

It was intended as part of the original Leveson inquiry which was launched in 2011 as a two-part investigation.

The 2011 part of the investigation examined press ethics but the second part, which was due to examine ties between the press and police, was postponed.

The government says a second Leveson style inquiry would be too costly and fail to reflect the fluidity of the modern media.

The 2011 Leveson inquiry cost a total of £5.4m to complete.

Speaking ahead of the vote, culture secretary Matt Hancock said ministers had "gone out of their way" to support victims of press harassment.

"We have gone out of our way to offer concessions at every stage to make sure the system of press regulation is both free and fair," he said.

Hancock's additional measures will see the information commissioner conduct a review of newspapers’ use of personal data every five years.

Hancock also pledged regular reviews of the system of press self-regulation.

“I hope the vote of this house today is respected because we will then have considered this question twice. We have made concessions in order to take on board legitimate concerns, but ultimately this house will have decided its view, having considered the question twice," Hancock added.

Read more: The Lords may have just put a second Leveson Inquiry on the cards

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