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February 10, 2016

Labour says Leveson part two is ‘non-negotiable’ – but Mail, quoting Government source, reports it will never take place

By William Turvill and Dominic Ponsford

Labour yesterday said the commencement of part two of the Leveson Inquiry was "non-negotiable". But the Daily Mail, quoting a "senior Government source", reported it will never take place.

Part two of the judge-led probe into the press was suspended pending the completion of criminal proceedings against journalists.

And the conclusion of Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police's investigation into phone-hacking, in December appeared to leave the way open for Leveson part two.

But last month both The Times and Daily Mail reported that it had been "quietly shelved"

Yesterday, shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said holding part two of the probe was "non-negotiable". The comment came as Burnham and shadow culture secretary Maria Eagle staged a conference in parliament to discuss the obstacles faced by campaigners against injustice.

Representatives from the Hacked Off group – which focuses on the phone-hacking scandal – and the Orgreave campaign – urging honesty about the 1984 confrontation between police and miners – were among those giving evidence at the event. The panel – including Labour peer Baroness Doreen Lawrence – also heard from Alastair Morgan, whose brother Daniel was investigating police corruption before his murder in 1987.

Burnham said: "What unites many of the campaigns represented here today is that they have been the victims of alleged collusion between government, police and the press."

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But the Daily Mail today reports that the "second stage of the controversial Leveson inquiry will never take place"

The newspaper quotes a "senior Government source" saying: "What would be the point of having another inquiry? Things have moved on since the first one, and we see no point revisiting it."

The first part of the Leveson Inquiry, held in 2011 and 2012, examined press ethics. The second part was due to look into the relationship between the press and police.

At yesterday's conference, former TV presenter Jacqui Hames, of Hacked Off, said the media was once again "cosy and comfortable" with the authorities and links with the police had to be examined further.

"Leveson two will shine a light at this relationship," she said.

Burnham told the meeting that reassurance was needed about the "relationship between police and press going forward".

"One of the issues we do want to touch on today is the need for that second stage going forward," he said.

He added: "Leveson two is non-negotiable."

Eagle said she was determined that Leveson be implemented in full and stage two of the inquiry go ahead. "I think there are vested interests in government who are not particularly interested in that."

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