Press freedom

Society welcomes defeat of ‘anti-press’ data protection amendments

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The Society of Editors has welcomed the defeat of ‘anti-press’ amendments to the Data Protection Bill in the House of Commons.
The amendments, tabled by Ed Miliband MP and Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson MP called for the second part of the Leveson inquiry and for costs sanctions to be introduced in data protection cases which would see publishers pay all costs of an action – even if they win.
The first amendment, Clause 18, was added to the bill by Ed Miliband and was rejected by 304 to 295. The second amendment, Clause 20, was tabled by Tom Watson MP but was abandoned after the SNP withdrew its support for the amendment.
Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Society of Editors said: ” I am delighted that common sense has prevailed and the attempt to impose appalling penalties on the UK’s free press for failing to join a state-recognised regulator has been defeated. The defeat of proposals for a costly second inquiry into the press is also to be welcomed. As MPs heard, the press has already taken great steps since the Leveson Inquiry to meet the objectives of that report.”

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