Tory manifesto reveals Leveson part two and punitive measures against newspapers dropped

The Leveson Inquiry’s second stage has been shelved, the Conservative manifesto reveals.

Part one of the inquiry, in 2011-12, examined ethics but further hearings into links between newspapers and the police as well as corporate malpractice were put on hold as criminal proceedings over phone hacking were initiated.

And the threat made to the press that newspapers would have to pay legal costs of those suing them unless they joined an approved regulator has also been dropped as the Tories’ manifesto pledges to scrap Section 40 of the the Crime and Courts Act 2013.

Section 40 had evoked outrage amongst media organisations.

The Society of Editors welcomed the news, saying: “To put it simply, they [media organisations] would be less inclined to pursue investigations in the public interest when the risk of crippling legal costs would be increased.”