Government Restates Commitment to Repealing Section 40 At ‘Earliest Possible Opportunity’
The Government has restated its commitment to repealing Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act “at the earliest possible opportunity”, describing the move as “appropriate, proportionate and in the public interest.”
Alongside media outlets and other press freedom organisations, the News Media Association has campaigned hard against Section 40 which would expose local and national newspapers to crippling costs in libel and privacy actions, even if they won the case.
The NMA welcomed the Government’s announcement last year that it would seek to repeal Section 40 after a consultation found that the public were overwhelmingly in favour of scrapping the draconian legislation.
In a recent letter to the Press Recognition Panel, Margot James, the Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, restated the Government’s commitment to repealing Section 40 “at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Ms James said: “As you will be aware, following a public consultation the Government announced last year, we would seek to repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act at the earliest possible opportunity. We believe this course of action is appropriate, proportionate and in the public interest.”
“The Independent Press Standards Organisation continues to make improvements in the areas recommended by Sir Brian Leveson, including the introduction of a compulsory version of its arbitration scheme in August. Publishers and self-regulators have also enhanced guidelines on a range of topics including accuracy.”