Labour must not abandon media reform
In an open letter to Labour leadership candidates, prominent figures in the party call for continued support for deep reform to Britain's media
Dear Lisa, Keir and Rebecca
As Labour Party Parliamentarians and members, we have been proud of the direction the Party has taken on media policy over the last ten years.
It hasn’t won us many positive headlines in the press, but standing up to the Murdochs, the Rothermeres, the Barclays, and other wealthy and powerful media owners has been the right thing to do.
On media ownership rules, press regulation and Part Two of the Leveson Inquiry, we have been in the right. And the public has been on our side.
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Some might suggest that shelving media reform in the hope of winning favourable coverage – as the Conservatives have done – is a possible route to electoral success. But this would be to abandon our core values of social justice, fairness and democracy.
It would betray the many minorities and vulnerable individuals who are most frequently the victims of press abuse and to whom the Conservatives offer no protection. And it would let down the public at large, who would be left without hope of change in a news environment routinely poisoned by lies, distortions and prejudice. From climate change to crime and from defence to transport, no issue is unaffected.
Our Party should continue to show leadership on this issue. That is why we are writing today to urge you to promise that, should you be the next leader of our movement, you will not abandon our commitment to media reform.
Britain needs a free, fearless and accountable media – willing and able to hold Parliament to account, to stand up for the vulnerable, and to accurately inform the public. If the Labour Party does not fight for that, no one will.
Parliamentarians and former Parliamentarians
Apsana Begum MP
Clive Betts MP
Ben Bradshaw MP
Kevin Brennan MP
Wayne David MP
Lord Davies of Stamford
Clive Efford MP
Julie Elliott MP
Paul Farrelly, MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme 2001-19
Gill Furniss MP
Kate Green OBE MP, Chair of the APPG for Gypsies Travellers and Roma
Dame Margaret Hodge DBE MP
Baroness Kennedy of Cradley
Lord Kennedy of Southwark
Stephen Kinnock MP
Ian Lucas, MP for Wrexham 2001-19
Holly Lynch MP
Kerry McCarthy MP
Kate Osamor MP
Yasmin Qureshi MP
Andy Slaughter MP
Alex Sobel MP
Zarah Sultana MP
Catherine West MP
Lord Wood of Anfield
Leading supporters of the Labour Party
Shaista Aziz, journalist and equalities campaigner
Grace Blakeley, economist, journalist and author
Emily Brothers, Equalities Campaigner and victim of press abuse
Mike Buckley, Labour for a Public Vote
Ronan Burtenshaw, editor of Tribune
Steve Coogan, actor, writer and comedian
Professor James Curran, Goldsmiths University
Professor Will Davies, Goldsmiths University
Professor Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths University
Professor Ivor Gaber, University of Sussex
Dr Mike Galsworthy, Scientists for EU
Clare Hepworth OBE
Stephen Kinsella OBE
Phil McCauley, Labour Business
Professor Tom Mills, Goldsmiths University
Professor Julian Petley, Brunel University
Hamish Sandison, Labour Business
Anthea Sully, campaigner against violence against women
Professor Damian Tambini, LSE
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