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PCC response to the Prime Minister (8 July 2011)

PCC response to the Prime Minister

The Press Complaints Commission has noted the Prime Minister's statement today.

We welcome that there will be a fair and open, evidence-based inquiry. We are confident that such an inquiry will recognise the considerable successes of the Press Complaints Commission, to which the Prime Minister himself referred some weeks ago.

We do not accept that the scandal of phone hacking should claim, as a convenient scalp, the Press Complaints Commission. The work of the PCC, and of a press allowed to have freedom of expression, has been grossly undervalued today.

However, as the PCC has said consistently, it believes that the outcome of phone hacking should be a more independent PCC. It is confident that it is precisely what the Prime Minister's inquiry will also have to conclude. There should be fundamental reform of the system, as we have already recognised and called for. But the PCC can, in the final evaluation, play its part in this. It is already doing so, and this can inform the work of the inquiry.

Now, it is for the newspaper and magazine industry itself to make the case for their continued independence from Government.

Meanwhile, the dedicated staff of the PCC will continue to serve the public (a service that effectively helps thousands of people every year), and uphold the ethical standards enshrined in the Code of Practice.

8 July 2011

Ends

NOTES:

1. This statement has been issued in the name of all Commissioners, listed below:

Baroness Buscombe

Lord Grade of Yarmouth CBE

John Home Robertson

Ian Nichol

Esther Roberton

Jeremy Roberts QC

Simon Sapper

Michael Smyth CBE

Julie Spence OBE QPM

Professor Ian Walden

John McLellan

Anthony Longden

Ian MacGregor

Lindsay Nicholson

Simon Reynolds

Tina Weaver

Peter Wright



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