Lord Justice Leveson has just announced that he’ll be presenting his report into the culture, ethics and standards of the press to Parliament and the public on Thursday, November 29.
The Lord Justice will make a televised statement from the QEII Conference centre at 1:30pm, but will not be taking questions or interviews.
That means that in just under a week’s time, months of briefings, hearings and testimonies so far will come to a head. Whatever Lord Justice Leveson recommends, the government will need to respond – though whether through acceptance, protest or inaction is up in the air.
Obviously, this marks a huge milestone for us. Since day one our mission has been to coordinate a response to the Inquiry, but with its end the real campaign may just be beginning. The public anger which led to Leveson’s probe has not gone away, and the challenge will now be for NGOs, academics, media campaigners and members of the public to make sure the government acts on it in a way that ensures a free press working in the public interest.
You might also have noticed that this will all be happening on the same day and within the same few hours as our planned lobby at Parliament. We’re currently deliberating on how to deal with that; we’ll be putting out more information shortly.
What happens now?
Some public seating will be available for Leveson’s statement, so if you’re interested in attending, see the details here. A paper copy of the report can be pre-ordered here for a hefty sum, but a link to a downloadable copy of the Report will be also posted on the Inquiry website.
David Cameron will make a speech before the House of Commons that afternoon, although an exact time has not been specified. The Guardian is reporting that MPs may not formally debate the document until December, but that Labour MPs may seek to force one via an emergency motion.
Either way, we’ll be eagerly awaiting the results – and pushing for regulatory action which decisively enshrines a free, independent ethical and plural press in the United Kingdom.