Cameron won’t reject Leveson findings, says Charlotte Church
Singer holds talks with PM over media regulation and is 'comforted' by outcome
CHARLOTTE CHURCH, one of the celebrities who gave evidence about press intrusion to the Leveson Inquiry, has held talks with Prime Minister David Cameron over concerns he might try to sidestep the issue of media regulation when the long-awaited report is finally published.
The Welsh singer said afterwards she believed Cameron would accept Lord Leveson's findings and consider introducing a new independent regulator with the power to punish newspapers.
There has been growing unease among campaigners over what Church called "murmurs" suggesting Cameron was in favour of media self-regulation whatever Leveson might advise. But after meeting the PM at the Conservative party conference last night she said she had been "comforted" by his answers.
The mother-of-two, who told Leveson how she was asked at the age of 13 to sing for free at Rupert Murdoch’s wedding in return for “favourable” press coverage, is also a patron of the Hacked Off campaign.
Hacked Off members, including Jude Law, Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan, as well as 7/7 bombing victims and members of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, wrote to the Prime Minister on the eve of the Tory conference raising concerns about the prospect of self-regulation.
"After meeting the Prime Minister I have faith that he will accept any recommendations from the Leveson report that would lead us to a genuine, independent regulator, that we the public can trust and is not controlled by the editors."
She insisted that she and other campaigners did not want to "muzzle" the press, the BBC reports, but believed that the public interest should be redefined in the aftermath of the Leveson Inquiry.
However, Cameron is under pressure from some quarters to reject calls for an independent media regulator with the power to fine newspapers.
Writing in the Daily Mail on Monday, columnist Stephen Glover accused the celebrities campaigning for tighter press regulation of being hypocrites. "I believe most of them are either deluded or self-serving," he said. "What they want is deeply illiberal."