Parties to discuss Leveson report

Parties to discuss Leveson report

Culture Secretary Maria Miller will continue talks over the Leveson report

Protest group Avaaz outside the House of Parliament to protest against media ownership and the implementation of the Leveson Inquiry report

First published in National News © by

Cross-party talks on the Leveson report will resume ahead of a major Commons debate on the highly divisive press reform recommendations.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller and Labour counterpart Harriet Harman along with the Lib Dems will attempt to thrash out a way forward on the proposals at a meeting this morning.

Labour on Sunday night upped the ante by revealing it had brought in a legal team to draw up a Bill within two weeks to counter claims that legislation would be "unworkable".

It will be used as the basis for a Commons vote if David Cameron blocks reform, although the result would not bind the government.

The Labour source insisted the party was committed to the talks but warned: "If they are not successful Ed Miliband does want to push this to a vote. This Bill could form the basis of that vote."

MP will debate in detail the contents of Lord Justice Leveson's 2,000 page this afternoon but will not have any opportunity to vote on it.

Since its publication last Thursday press reform campaigners, victims of media intrusion, politicians and leading industry figures have clashed over its recommendations. At the heart of the report was a call for a new watchdog with statutory underpinning that would have the power to require prominent apologies and impose fines of as much as £1 million.

Mr Cameron has indicated he plans to spike the so-called "Leveson law" warning he has "serious concerns and misgivings" and believing the new regulator could function just as well without legislation.

Challenged over suggestions that the Prime Minister wants the draft Bill to be constructed in such a way as to highlight the difficulties of legislation, Mr Cameron's official spokesman said: "We are approaching these talks in good faith and we will draft the legislation accordingly.

"The Prime Minister's view - which he set out in the House of Commons - is that it is likely that legislation will be quite complicated in practice. But we are progressing the work on that, and will continue the talks."

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