13:25, November 23 71 0 theguardian.com

2017-11-23 13:25:03
Lord Leveson asked to advise ministers on second press inquiry

Lord Justice Leveson has been asked to advise ministers on holding the second part of a public inquiry into the British press and is reviewing submissions made by newspapers on future regulation of the sector.

The judge was asked by David Cameron to chair the first part of the public inquiry following the phone-hacking scandal but after recommending the creation of a regulator backed by statute in 2012, he left the subject behind.

Ministers are now consulting with Leveson on whether to press ahead with the second part of the inquiry, investigating corporate malpractice and the relationship between the media and the police, which had been due to take place following the phone-hacking trials.

The judge has also been asked to consider responses to section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, which has not been enacted but if introduced would force newspapers to cover the legal costs of the claimant in a libel case unless they joined an approved regulator and offered low-cost arbitration.

No national newspaper has signed up an approved regulator. The majority of newspapers are members of Ipso, which is not authorised by the Press Regulation Panel, although the Guardian and Financial Times regulate themselves.

Leveson himself has largely avoided discussing press regulation and his inquiry since it concluded. In a rare interview with the Jewish Chronicle in 2015, Leveson said it was “for others” to determine press regulation following the publication of his report.

“What has happened since its publication is for others to determine – not for me,” he said. “It’s inappropriate for me as a serving judge to get involved in those kinds of discussions. I have to be very careful, because the one thing I cannot talk about is politics.”

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport declined to comment.