Coogan lobbies Clegg on curbing media

Steve Coogan discussed regulation of the press with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the Lib Dem conference yesterday.

The actor and comedian pressed Mr Clegg for swift action when the Leveson recommendations on future standards for the press are published. Coogan was in a delegation from the campaign group Hacked Off, led by former Lib Dem MP Dr Evan Harris, along with phone-hacking victim and journalist Joan Smith, group director Brian Cathcart and NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet.

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At a press conference after the meeting with Mr Clegg, Coogan said they had received no guarantees on timing, but hoped recommendations could be included in the Queen’s Speech in 2013-14.

Coogan said: “He [Mr Clegg] said his party would not be bound by his coalition partners on this.” He said he hoped the parties would accept the Leveson recommendations and called for statutory regulation of newspapers.

He added he was sure politicians “would not overtly oppose” Lord Leveson.