The Government has rejected for a second time amendments from peers seeking press cenorship.
Solicitor General Robert Buckland insisted it would be simply not appropriate to include within the Investigatory Powers Bill changes designed to
ensure costs are awarded against newspaper and media organisations in press censorship cases.
Pro-censorship peers have repeatedly sought to amend the Bill so it implements a key part of the Leveson Inquiry report forcing newspapers and the media
to submit to censorship.
MPs voted to reject the latest Lords amendments by 295 votes to 245, a majority of 50.
Ministers are currently conducting a ten-week consultation which includes examining whether to implement legislation which would
force newspapers to pay all of the costs of libel or privacy actions brought against them -- even if they win their case. This injustice would not apply to publications which sign up to a new state-backed press censor.
Labour is inevitably
supporting this censorship attempt with Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott saying:
Labour fully supports this set of amendments to the Investigatory Powers Bill and on this side of the House we have consistently and
genuinely called for the Leveson recommendations to be implemented in full.
SNP justice spokeswoman Joanna Cherry also supported the injustice and censorship saying:
Those who have not hacked, do
not hack phones and do not intend to hack telephones or indeed emails have nothing to fear from these provisions.
But Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said:
This is an absolutely dreadful amendment. It
should be thrown out, rejected, sent back to the House of Lords. It is fundamentally wrong. It seeks to punish those who may be innocent, to fine them for telling the truth, for saying things that people in power do not like. It goes to the heart of our
free press and it should be thrown in the bin.