Labour will consult on Leveson-style inquiry into fake news

PUBLISHED: 14:34 21 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:34 21 November 2019

Labour has promised to consult on establishing an inquiry into “fake news”. Pictured - Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinsonspeaking to the media. Photo: Aaron Chwon / PA

Labour has promised to consult on establishing an inquiry into "fake news". Pictured - Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinsonspeaking to the media. Photo: Aaron Chwon / PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Labour has promised to consult on establishing an inquiry into "fake news" if they are elected.

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The party says that "fake news" has eroded trust in the media and democracy.

"We will consult media-sector workers and trade unions to establish an inquiry into the 'fake news' undermining trust in media, democracy and public debate, and on a legal right of public interest defence for journalists," it says in its manifesto.

Social media companies like Facebook have faced years of criticism about handling the spread of misinformation.

Labour has previously said it would go ahead with a "Leveson part two" inquiry into the press and media.

The manifesto says that it will "address misconduct and the unresolved failures of corporate governance raised by the second stage of the abandoned Leveson Inquiry."

The second part of the inquiry, which did not take place, was due to look into unlawful conduct within media organisations as well as relations between police and the press.

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Labour says it wants steps taken to "safeguard a healthy plurality of media ownership" and "clearer rules on who is fit and proper to own or run TV and radio stations."

It will "address the monopolistic hold the tech giants have on advertising revenues and will support vital local newspapers and media outlets," it says.

Jim Waterson, the Guardian's media editor, said: "Labour pledge 'to establish an inquiry into the 'fake news' undermining trust in media, democracy and public debate'. Imagine the Leveson hearings but with less Paul McMullan and more Twitter randoms giving evidence about attitudes to shitposting."

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