First Minister announces plan for implementation of Leveson findings

Alex Salmond used his speech to criticise welfare reforms. Picture: TSPL
Alex Salmond used his speech to criticise welfare reforms. Picture: TSPL
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ALEX SALMOND today announced plans for judge-led body to implement the findings of the Leveson inquiry on oppress regulation in Scotland.

Opposition leaders have been urged to meet the First Minister for face-to-face talks to strike a united way forward in Scotland.

Mr Salmond has already said he is keen on an Irish-style press council which stops short of full state regulation but is supported in statute.

“I don’t favour state regulation of the press,” Mr Salmond told MSPs at First Ministers Questions today.

Instead, he said a strengthened press council will have the support of the “print media industry and more importantly the confidence of the wider public who have been rightly angered by recent episodes including phone hacking, blagging and potentially illegal activity.”

He added: “Such a system needs to ensure redress for people with no great resources and a link to statute is possible as in the model in Ireland.”

He told MSPs they will have the opportunity to debate the full implications of Leveson next week and also invited MSPs from all other parties for talks with him on the Leveson findings.

“It’s important to achieve agreement in Scotland on the best way forward,” he said.

“I propose the establishment of an independent implementation

group chaired by a current or recent Court of Session judge with five non-politician members.

“The purpose of this group will be how next to implement the Leveson proposals in the context of Scots Law and the devolved responsibilities of this Parliament. This will allow the process of any proposed changes to go through the normal Parliamentary procedures in this place.”