Leveson Inquiry ‘disastrous’

The Guardian’s director of editorial legal services Gill Phillips has labelled the outcome of the Leveson Inquiry as “disastrous”.

Mr Phillips told a London legal conference that the Leveson Inquiry was “the worst of all worlds”.

“His attempt to please everybody … has led him down a road that has proved to be pretty disastrous,” Ms Phillips said.

“We don’t have anything that could be perceived as effective or credible by either side of the debate.”

Ms Phillips voiced her discontent in particular about the proposal to create a new press regulator though a royal charter.

She called it a “medieval” tool which was previously “used by monarchs to circumvent parliament”.

Two rival royal charters have been submitted for approval to the Queen’s Privy Council: one supported by politicians and the Hacked Off lobby group; the other by large parts of the newspaper and magazine industry.

However, Ms Phillips said she was opposed to any form of state involvement in press regulation.

In particular, she cited the detainment and subsequent interrogation of David Miranda, the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald, who reported on surveillance operations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

“If anything demonstrates why we do not want a government regulating the press, David Miranda is that,” she said.

“We live in a democratic state and they still did what they did to David Miranda for no good reason at all.

“It goes back to the whole debate about why we shouldn’t have the state regulating the press.”

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