Charlotte Church: Leveson inquiry a chance for real change
Charlotte Church has said if the Coalition doesn’t take strong action in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry findings, the “biggest injustice” would be done to ordinary families whose phones were hacked and privacy invaded.
The Welsh singer, who is due to speak later today at the Tory Party Conference alongside Hugh Grant as patrons of the Hacked Off pressure group, met Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this morning to discuss the future for press reformation post-Leveson.
After her meeting with the PM, she said: "After meeting with [him] I have faith that he will accept any recommendations that would lead us to a genuinely independent regulator which we, the public, can trust and is not controlled by the editors.”
Church, 26, was one of the key witnesses at Leveson, and in this week’s Big Issue she talks about the distress that she and her family endured while their mobile phones were being hacked by the News of the World. She also says that she has no vendetta against the press.
“It’s not about retribution, it’s not about revenge, it’s just about the truth. That’s all it’s about. Because I have been unable to get that through for a long, long time, so where’s my freedom of speech?
“I think [the Leveson Inquiry] is really important for our society. I felt really proud to be part of it, even though I was shitting myself, I was so nervous before.”
Lord Justice Leveson is expected to report his findings and recommendations for reform of media regulation in the UK within the next three weeks. In her Big Issue interview, Church insists that media regulation reform “shouldn’t be looked at as a problem, it should be looked at as an opportunity to make things better, for change, for growth of a much stronger, better press which is much more factual and fair, and everything that freedom of speech stands for.”
After today’s meeting with the Prime Minister, Church admitted that she and her fellow Hacked Off campaigners would be “unbelievably disappointed” if substantial reform is not implemented after Leveson reports.
"It was a difficult process to go through to relive a lot of those things to represent the best evidence that we could give to the inquiry.
"I absolutely felt my story paled in comparison to stories I have heard of ordinary people or ordinary families. I think it would be doing the biggest injustice to them really.”
To read a full interview with Charlotte Church, see this week’s Big Issue, out now