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Labour ‘fake news’ inquiry on hold over general election as MP in charge bows out of Parliament

By Freddy Mayhew

Labour’s inquiry into fake news has been put on hold while the country goes to the polls in a snap general election.

The “open-minded” inquiry was launched in December by Shadow Culture Secretary Tom Watson MP, who tasked Michael Dugher MP with the running of it.

Dugher has since decided not to run for re-election in June.

A report on the inquiry’s findings had been expected this Spring, but has now been postponed without a new deadline set.

A spokesperson for Labour told Press Gazette the fake news inquiry had received more than 50 submissions of evidence “from a wide range of individuals and organisations”.

They said: “The inquiry is now on hold as a result of the early general election and the decision of Michael Dugher to stand down as an MP, and it is not currently possible to say when any report will be published.”

As part of its evidence gathering process, inquiry representatives met with “a number of interested parties to discuss issues around fake news” with more meetings still planned, the spokesperson added.

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The Culture, Media and Sport Committee launched their own fake news inquiry in January, which published submitted evidence last week with a report expected later this year.

In its submission to the committee’s inquiry, ITN warned that fake news is a “powerful and dangerous force in our online ecosystem”.

Fake news is generally defined as hoax stories that are produced for propaganda, profit, or both.

Picture: Channel 4

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