Hacked Off brands post-Leveson negotiations a ‘pantomime’

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A GROUP representing phone-hacking victims branded negotiations between the press and No 10 a “pantomime”, a “cosy stitch-up” and a “shady deal” yesterday.

Hacked Off called on politicians across the spectrum to reject the discussions on how to implement the Leveson Report.

The organisation rejected the idea of a royal charter creating the new press watchdog – a solution the Prime Minister is looking at, according to reports – and reiterated its support for statutory underpinning.

Professor Brian Cathcart, director of Hacked Off, said: “We express our dismay at the pantomime of ministers rummaging for medieval precedents with which to confer legitimacy on what they are doing.

“On the basis of our legal advice, a royal charter will provide barely comparable protection to the public to what they have today. And that, as Lord Justice Leveson has agreed, is grossly insufficient.”