High Court Upholds Government Decision To Cancel Leveson 2

The High Court has today upheld the Government’s decision not to proceed with part two of the Leveson Inquiry after a judicial review brought by four claimants following a fundraising drive by Hacked Off.  

Alongside the local and national news media industry, the News Media Association has campaigned hard against the reopening of the inquiry which would have cost the taxpayer millions of pounds and disrupted the news media industry at a time when it is already grappling with the huge challenges of funding the provision of high-quality journalism in the digital environment.

The industry welcomed the Government’s decision in March this year to formally close the Leveson Inquiry and to seek repeal of the draconian Section 40 – a draconian piece of legislation which would cripple local and national newspapers.  

This followed a consultation which found little public support for a second inquiry or the commencement of Section 40.

But Hacked Off, who raised funds for the judicial review, said the Government had reneged on its promises and an action was brought by four claimants challenging the lawfulness of the consultation decision and process. 

Today, the High Court dismissed the claim on all grounds in the judicial review proceedings.  

The NMA said: “This decision by the courts is most welcome. The news media industry is grappling with the challenges of providing sustainable high quality journalism in the digital era and the spectre of a sweeping inquiry and punitive legislation have been an unwelcome distraction from this.”