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Friday 31st October 2014
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Hacked Off Associate Director Calls For 'Real Changes' To Press Regulation

Tuesday 24th June 2014

Evan Harris, Associate Director at Hacked Off and former Liberal Democrat MP, has told LBC that there have to be 'real changes' to press regulation.

Evan Harris

Ex-Number 10 spin doctor Andy Coulson has been found guilty of plotting to hack phones, while Rebekah Brooks was cleared of all charges in the phone-hacking trial.

Her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter was cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and Brooks's husband Charlie and NI director of security Mark Hanna were also cleared of perverting the course of justice.

The jury is still considering further charges against Coulson and former NotW royal editor Clive Goodman of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office by paying police officers for two royal directories.

Speaking to LBC's Julia Hartley-Brewer following the verdict, Mr Harris (pictured) renewed calls for greater press regulation.

"The idea that was mooted at first for a long time by Rupert Murdoch and his executives that is was one rogue reporter back in 2006/2007 has been blown out of the water," he commented.

Mr Harris denied that his campaign group could be blamed for the closure of the News of the World.

"That was Rupert Murdoch cutting his losses and he's the one to blame for that," he told Julia. "As far as I know, not a single victim of press abuse has argued for newspapers to close and the problem is not closing newspapers or who's working where, what is the culture at these places and what is the form of regulation.

"Unfortunately, we don't need to debate this, there was a 15 month public enquiry that made clear recommendations that any future press self-regulator must be independently audited and approved as effective, fair and independent. The PCC was not, the one that Rupert Murdoch's now proposing in its place, IPSO, is not any of those things and until that happens, until there is an effective, independent regulator under the Royal Charter this matter is not going to be settled as David Cameron said himself last year."


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