Leveson inquiry: Do the right thing, MPs told by key witnesses

Hugh Grant outside Westminster, where the Hacked Off petition was launched. Picture: PA
Hugh Grant outside Westminster, where the Hacked Off petition was launched. Picture: PA
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If Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations are not implemented, giving evidence to his inquiry would have been “almost useless”, Madeleine McCann’s Scottish father, Gerry, said yesterday.

He urged politicians to “do the right thing” and accept in full the suggestions for a new regulatory system.

The coverage of the disappearance of Madeleine, who went missing while on a family holiday in Portugal in 2007, was given by Lord Justice Leveson as an example of how stories ran “totally out of control”.

Speaking yesterday, Mr McCann said: “The only reason we went to Leveson was to effect change and if [his] report isn’t implemented in full then I would say that giving evidence has been almost useless.

“For almost all the victims, the reason they were there was to stop other, ordinary people caught up in the most unfortunate circumstances suffering unnecessarily.

“And I feel if Leveson is implemented we will be some way on that route.”

Actor Hugh Grant, a director of the Hacked Off group set up after the phone-hacking scandal, said victims had felt “betrayal” when they heard Prime Minister David Cameron’s response to the report, ruling out any new legislation. “With a group of (non celeb) victims including Hillsborough families listening to PM. Buzzword is betrayal,” he tweeted.

Christopher Jefferies, who was wrongly arrested for the murder of Joanna Yeates, has launched a petition on the Hacked Off website calling for the full implementation of the Leveson recommendations

Harry Potter author 
JK Rowling said the Leveson recommendations would not work without statutory underpinning and that she felt “duped and angry” at Mr Cameron’s response. “If I, who can afford the very best lawyers, cannot guarantee the privacy of those dearest to me, what hope did the Dowlers, the McCanns and the Watsons ever have of protecting their own children and their own good names?” she said.