A KEY adviser to Lord Justice Leveson has warned that the last-resort option for compulsory press reform laws would be illegal because it would “coerce” newspapers into holding higher standards than anyone else.
Shami Chakrabarti, below, one of six assessors who worked with the judge on the inquiry, said she could not support any legislation that was forced on the press and claimed it could breach the Human Rights Act.
The director of civil rights group Liberty warned the report’s option of compulsory regulation if the press failed to sign up voluntarily could have “serious unintended consequences”.
Ms Chakrabarti also said Labour leader Ed Miliband “was hasty” in declaring full support for the recommendations made in the report.
Labour yesterday denied it was watering down its position that the Leveson recommendations should be “accepted in their entirety”.
Asked if the statement, made by Mr Miliband, still stood, the shadow culture secretary, Harriet Harman, said: “Absolutely”.