Government drops second part of Leveson press inquiry

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The Government will not press ahead with the second part of the Leveson Inquiry into press standards and regulation, Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has told the House of Commons.

Mr Hancock announced that the Government will not put Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act - which would force media organisations to pay legal costs of libel cases whether they won or lost - into effect and will seek repeal "at the earliest opportunity".

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Announcing that he was formally closing the inquiry opened by David Cameron in 2011, Mr Hancock told the House of Commons: "We do not believe that reopening this costly and time-consuming public inquiry is the right way forward."

There were cries of "shame" in the Commons as Mr Hancock made the announcement that he was formally closing the inquiry.

Mr Hancock highlighted reforms to the police as well as the challenges faced by publishers, especially local newspapers.

He said: "The world has changed since the Leveson Inquiry was established in 2011. Since then we've seen a seismic change in the media landscape.

"The work of the inquiry and the reforms since have had a huge impact on public life."

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