David Cameron halted cross-party talks to create statutory regulation on press reform today. He announced Tories will instead back a royal charter, to be published Monday.
Mr Cameron said the gap between Tories and both Labour and Lib Dems on Leveson is “too great” to be bridged and called the royal charter “a workable system”. Of oppposition to his approach he said: "To put it simply they can back my amendments... Or they can grandstand and end up with a system that will not work. (...)"
1. Nick Clegg
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he was "disappointed and surprised that David Cameron has decided to walk away from the cross-party talks."
He continued: "Clearly I don't agree with David Cameron's approach. I will be working with politicians... from all parties to make sure we deliver the right solution (...)" Mr Clegg also called on the Prime Minsiter to set aside “political point-scoring” and “narrow self-interest” in order to continue working with the other parties.
2. Ed Miliband
Labour leader Ed Miliband also took issue with Mr Cameron’s approach and threatened to continue to work with Tory MPs “above David Cameron’s head”.
He said: "We are going to reach out to all the concerned people... I still believe we can do that on a cross-party basis. It may not involve David Cameron, but I’m afraid that’s his choice(...)"
3. John Whittingdale
Tory MP John Whittingdale warned that going against both Labour and the Lib Dems on the issue was “a gamble” but defended the principle of Mr Cameron’s approach.
On BBC Radio 4 he said, “I would hope that people who are concerned about civil liberties and our constitution would see that there are dangers in Parliament legislating over the press(...)" he said
4. Steve Coogan
Phone-hacking victim Steve Coogan responded with a blog post for The Guardian titled “We’ve been betrayed by David Cameron”.
He said: “By rejecting Leveson's call for statutory regulation, Cameron has hung the victims of crime out to dry. He has passed on the opportunity to make history. He has revealed there isn't an ounce of substance in his body, that he has one eye on courting the press for elections in years to come, and doesn't know the meaning of conviction. Quite simply, if future regulation is not backed by statute, Leveson's report is nothing more than a large slap on the wrist.” div id="roundup_node">
5. Hacked Off
Hacked Off, an advocacy group for hacking victims, tweeted their reaction: “The PM's statement on the Royal Charter shows that he's still protecting his friends in the press & betraying press abuse victims.”