Mar 16 2013
The parents of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler have hit out at press regulation proposals despite David Cameron insisting he was acting as "a friend of the victims" of phone hacking.
Bob and Sally Dowler said they were "very disappointed" that politicians may not implement the full recommendations from Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into media abuses.
"Given the considerable investment of time and money in the Leveson Inquiry, we are very disappointed to learn that Lord Justice Leveson's proposals may not now be taken forward if the politicians choose to ignore the recommendations of Lord Justice Leveson that were aimed at preventing the sort of abuses that we and so many others suffered," they said.
It was the revelation that News of the World journalists had hacked Milly's phone which prompted the paper's closure and the 16-month Leveson Inquiry.
MPs will choose on Monday between rival proposals for a tougher new system of self-regulation - a Conservative blueprint and one drawn up by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
Both now propose using a royal charter but Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband insist it should be backed by legislation. They also want to prevent the industry having a veto over the membership of a new watchdog, and tougher powers for the regulator to force the printing of prominent apologies.
Mr Cameron faces an uphill battle to win the vote as the Conservatives have no overall Commons majority and allies concede there is every chance he will be defeated.
Mr Cameron said, however, that he was "delighted" at how close together the two sides had come after he dramatically pulled the plug on cross-party talks last week. And he said the Lib/Lab proposed statutory underpinning was not "a big issue of principle".
The developments came as detectives investigating the phone hacking scandal were examining fresh claims after new evidence came to light.
Victims' lawyer Mark Stephens, who represented murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne's mother Sara, said he was informed of the new developments two weeks ago. He said he could not confirm reports that an estimated 600 fresh allegations have emerged, or that they have come from a whistleblower being lined up as a crown witness.