The Freeland File
Aerospace & Defense
Global Market Data
Lucy P. Marcus
David Cay Johnston
The Great Debate
Jack & Suzy Welch
Macro & Markets
Lipper Awards 2012
Personal Finance Video
Photos of the week
Our best photos from the past week. Slideshow
Images of September
Chavez's socialist rule at risk as Venezuelans vote
Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding plans up to $500 mln loan - sources
Obama and Democrats raise record funds, poll holds steady
Arkansas Republicans' comments on slavery, Muslims stir controversy
06 Oct 2012
Indiana Senate race may hinge on disenchanted Lugar backers
06 Oct 2012
Romney’s strong debate showing puts Europe on edge
Obama and Romney battle over economy at debate
Weak U.S. labor market looms ahead of elections
Our day's top images, in-depth photo essays and offbeat slices of life. See the best of Reuters photography. See more | Photo caption
Battle for Aleppo
The battle for Syria's biggest city. Slideshow
Looking for work
The frontlines of the unemployment crisis. Slideshow
Hacking victims pressure British PM on media rules
Ex-Murdoch editor Brooks due in court on hacking plot charges
Tue, Sep 25 2012
UK regulator clears BSkyB of links to hacking scandal
Thu, Sep 20 2012
Sun journalists, police officer held in UK corruption probe
Wed, Sep 19 2012
UK's Cameron apologizes for 1989 soccer stadium disaster
Wed, Sep 12 2012
Analysis & Opinion
Does Murdoch’s paywall reversal signal a sale of The Times?
Punch Sulzberger and the trouble with media dynasties
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, central England October 7, 2012.
Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville
By Tim Castle
Sun Oct 7, 2012 2:42pm EDT
LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain would avoid "heavy-handed state intervention" of its national press after phone hacking victims urged him on Sunday to remain open-minded about the recommendations of an inquiry into media ethics.
Actor Hugh Grant, singer Charlotte Church and more than 50 other victims of press intrusion said in letter to Cameron they feared he had already decided to reject statutory regulation of the media before the inquiry's findings were published.
Cameron said he would not prejudge the inquiry and confirmed he had told Grant he would implement its recommendations providing they were "not bonkers".
"It's quite clear people have been abused, people's families and lives have been torn up by press intrusion. The status quo is not an option," he told BBC television.
Cameron ordered the wide-ranging investigation at the height of a scandal last year into illegal phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch's now-closed News of the World tabloid when it emerged that reporters had hacked the phone of a murdered schoolgirl.
The inquiry, led by judge Brian Leveson, revealed the inadequacy of British newspapers' current system of self-regulation and is expected to recommend a tougher regime to ensure victims of press intrusion can receive effective redress.
Leveson has yet to publish his findings after eight months of hearings that ended in July.
Cameron will have to navigate a difficult political path in responding to the recommendations to avoid being accused of trampling on press freedoms or being soft on tabloid excesses, especially given his close ties to two of those who have been charged with offences relating to phone hacking.
His ex-spin doctor Andy Coulson was a former News of the World editor and as was his friend Rebekah Brooks, who later oversaw Murdoch's News International arm. Their trial has been set for September next year.
"We don't want heavy-handed state intervention. We've got to have a free press," Cameron said.
"We all want to put in place a sensible, regulatory system. We're hoping that Lord Justice Leveson is going to crack this problem for us, but we must let him do his work first."
Some newspapers have proposed a beefed up form of contractual self-regulation as a way of avoiding statutory control, an approach the hacking victims rejected as inadequate.
Grant, a director of the Hacked Off lobby group that organized the letter to Cameron, said he wanted a new media regulator who would be independent of both the newspaper industry and government.
"It's actually the way solicitors are now regulated, it's the way doctors are now regulated, and they're not complaining," he told BBC television.
"I do not see the slightest danger to freedom of expression, freedom of speech from that."
(Editing by Alison Williams)
Related Quotes and News
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Be the first to comment on reuters.com.
Add yours using the box above.
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.