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British Deputy PM Clegg says press watchdog "busted"

posted 8 Jul 2011, 06:48 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 8 Jul 2011, 07:05 ]

British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says the UK's media watchdog is "busted" and needs to be replaced after newspapers have gained too much power to "make or break people's lives"


PARIS, FRANCE (JULY 08, 2011) REUTERS - British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said on Friday (July 8) the UK's media watchdog was "busted" and needed to be replaced after newspapers had gained too much power to "make or break people's lives".

Speaking at a conference in Paris, Clegg said the phone-hacking scandal that prompted Rupert Murdoch to close Britain's biggest selling Sunday newspaper, the News of the World, was "the total collapse of yet another pillar of the British establishment".

"Clearly the press complaints commission is a busted flush. It's toothless. It doesn't work and needs to be replaced," he told a conference organised by the French employer's federation.

"You can't have that much power given to people to make or break people's lives with no accountability," he said.


BRITISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, NICK CLEGG SAYING:

"I think that what we're seeing is a total collapse in public confidence in yet another pillar of the British establishment. You know, it happened with MPs with the expenses scandal. It happened with the banking system when the banking system went up in smoke. It's now happened to the police, to the media. And we've got to kind of take the opportunity to clean the system up, and renew it, and put it on a completely different, completely different footing. That doesn't mean interfering in press freedom. I'm a passionate believer in press freedom. But we cannot ever again have this, this spectacle of people in certain newspapers, acting with complete impunity, as if there's one law for them, and another law for anyone else. You can't have that much power given to people, to make or break often innocent peoples' lives, with no accountability whatsoever. And that's why it is extremely important we have a judge-led inquiry with real power and real teeth to look at all of these murky allegations about the relationship between the press and the police. Not just News International, but the press as a whole, why we need to have to look at the whole architecture of the way in which the press operates. Clearly the press complaints commission is a busted flush. It's toothless. It doesn't work. It needs to be replaced. So you know, I really understand and totally share the public dismay, disgust and anger. What we've now got to do is use those feelings into something which creates something better for the future."



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