Nick Clegg’s reply to party members’ emails on phone hacking

Last week, Nick Clegg emailed Lib Dem members to appeal for their views on next steps following the allegations of widespread phone-hacking by the News of The World.

Over at Richard Morris’s blog, you can find a copy of Nick’s reply:

This is clearly an issue that so many people in our party – myself included – feel strongly about. I received over 1000 emails within just 24 hours of my request and I think this is testament to our party’s democratic culture and willingness to engage with the issues that really matter. As you know, events are moving very fast, but there are a few particular suggestions I received that I’d like to give you an update on.

Nick goes on to answer concerns about:

  • Bringing those responsible to justice
  • A judicial inquiry
  • The withdrawal of News Corporations’s BSkyB bid
  • Replacing the Press Complaints Commission
  • Future reform of the British media industry

He concludes:

This scandal has shone a light on the murky underworld of British public life – a world the Liberal Democrats have been battling for years. Labour and the Conservatives have both been keen to cosy up to News International – but Liberal Democrats alone have remained unwilling to bend to suit News International’s agenda. While the other parties waved through takeovers, attended weddings and employed News International journalists, we stuck to our principles, often to our cost. The result for us was years of being ignored by The Sun and the News of the World when in opposition, coupled with vicious attacks during the general election, when Liberal Democrats threatened to overturn the established red-blue-red-blue pattern, and so locking the Murdoch empire out of British politics.

But, whatever this politician did, or that party did, we now have a rare opportunity to work together in the national interest. More details of the scandal will no doubt continue to come to light in the coming weeks and months, but we must stay focussed on the task ahead. If we get this right while the demand for change is strong, we can rebuild the confidence in our major institutions that has been so badly knocked.

But what we really mustn’t forget is the devastating impact this scandal has had on the families of those involved. I met with the Dowler family a few days ago and I cannot begin to imagine the pain they must have gone through as a direct result of the News of the World’s actions. I truly believe we owe it to all the people so ruthlessly targeted by parts of the media, to ensure that this never, ever happens again.

Read the full text over at A View From Ham Common.

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6 Comments

  • Nothing about reforming the police or protecting information from being sold by them. I hope this is not going to be another missed opportunity to actually do something liberal for a change.

  • Rupert Murdoch said at a previous enquiry, that with regards to the sun and the News of The World, he is very hands on with the company and the editorial, and it was HE who decides which party it was going to back at the elections.

    This is what I hate about the media, and yes I do believe that they should be banned from backing a certain party, because we know what comes from that backing,

    Smear campaigns against politicians from other parties, and assaults on our most vulnerable people in society, the sick, poor and disabled.

    All aimed at vilifying the less fortunate in order to claim support from the more fortunate, dragging the country further to the right and towards dangerous Tory Ideologies.

    I am all for freedom of the press, However, with that freedom has to come responsibility, Investigation journalism where there is evidence of wrong doing.
    Providing the public with stories that contain “legitimate” facts, Not stories that have been wildly exaggerated and spun for Tory/Paper agenda agreement.

    It may be asking to much, but when I see how far the press has sunk over the last few years, it is vital that we restore some balance and sanity asap.

    The media need to realise that they are there to provide a service to the people and be the voice of the people, not manipulate them with stories full of half truths and crap with the aim of gaining support for their own political agenda.

    It is the main power that I think the New PCC whoever that happens to be, has to have . If a paper seems to be running stories, following a political agenda for it own cause, rather than reporting the “facts” to the people” then that should be deemed as not fit and proper to hold a license in our media.

    it is time we had more power to the people, and less manipulation from large corporate companies.

    We the “people” employ our “government” to “run” our country. Not media moguls who are only interested in their own agenda and personal gains

  • “the Government has been assured that the Independent Police Complaints Commission has the resources and powers necessary to properly deal with these allegations”

    Is that code for “Let’s stick to bashing Murdoch, and steer clear of opening up that can of worms”?

  • “It is the main power that I think the New PCC whoever that happens to be, has to have . If a paper seems to be running stories, following a political agenda for it own cause, rather than reporting the “facts” to the people” then that should be deemed as not fit and proper to hold a license in our media.”

    What a truly frightening suggestion!

  • Don Lawrence 16th Jul '11 - 5:22pm

    The speed and standard nature of the reply from Nick shows that his advisers have totally failed to address the comments received, instead proposing the same ideas that they first thought of. As usual, much too litte, much too late.

    If we continue over the next four years to continue to respond to issues in the same slow witted manner as we have in the first year, it will be a long, long time in the wilderness before our children’s children get another chance to see Lib Dems mess up their chance in government again.

  • John Roffey 17th Jul '11 - 1:02pm

    @ Don Lawrence: I do find the general support of the leadership difficult to understand. Surely all members know that the Party is going to be wiped out at the next GE and it will be in the wilderness for a long time.

    Although it is clearly true that some of the Tory policies have been softened because of Lib/Dem influence, but this softening is likely to be only temporary, until after the next GE – at that time most policies will be reviewed and likely to be changed by the new government – which is not going to include any Lib/Dem members.

    I understand that it is heady stuff for Lib/Dem MPs to find themselves actually government ministers – but is it worth destroying the Party for this short-term ‘high’.

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