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We demand an end to victim journalism: write to your MP today

Treatment of Ben Stokes, Gareth Thomas and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex latest evidence that press conduct today no better than the days of phone-hacking: nothing has changed


Following revelations that the personal privacy of Ben Stokes’ family was intruded upon in cruel and allegedly inaccurate reporting on the Sun’s front page and former rugby player Gareth Thomas was effectively blackmailed by a tabloid into revealing his HIV status, Hacked Off demand that the Government take action and introduce independent regulation of the press as all parties promised in 2013.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been subjected to sustained press abuse over the last 12 months and Prince Harry has brought a claim against News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun (and formerly the News of the World), and Mirror Group Newspapers for alleged phone hacking. The Government must complete the Leveson Inquiry, to get to the bottom of corruption in elements of the press.

The treatment of Stokes and Thomas and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the hands of elements of the press has been abhorrent.  It puts to bed the claims of media executives and the Government made last year that “everything has changed” in the industry.  If anything, the events of this week show that conduct and standards have declined.

This is no surprise, as the Government failed to introduce the Leveson recommendations for independent press regulation and cancelled Leveson Part Two.  

The newspapers responsible for distressing both Stokes and Thomas, and Ms Markle and Prince Harry are members of IPSO,  a sham complaints-handler run by and for the press industry. Nothing has changed since the Leveson report 7 years ago and nothing ever will until we have a genuine, independent regulator. 

Write to your MP now and demand they act to end victim journalism.