press STANDARDS have been questioned significantly more since the social media revolution and especially since the Leveson Inquiry, the official inquiry into press standards following the phone hacking scandal by News International. But ministers have seen off a bid to force them to implement a second stage of the Leveson inquiry into press standards.

Despite an impassioned speech by former Labour leader Ed Miliband, the government won by 304 votes to 295. Labour’s Tom Watson has campaigned in favour of tougher press standards over many years. He called today’s vote on Leveson 2 “a question of honour”.

Do we need Leveson part 2?

Unsurprisingly, the CEO of News Media Association (NMA) wrote in an opinion piece for the Guardian that stage two is unnecessary. He claims that “The General Data Protection Regulation is coming into force. The role of the Information Commissioner’s Office in protecting data is strengthened by positive amendments in the bill”. But will the new regulation and amendments really do its job in making sure the press operate truthfully because so far despite numerous complaints and blatantly false articles, both the Sun and the Daily Mail avoid large fines and other possible sanctions against them.

The problem is that the likes of NMA and other Conservative supporting media outlets cite multiple myths about the Leveson Inquiry to back their claims.

Firstly, they say that no more needs to be done because of extensive prosecutions and the shutting down of the News of the World. However, the Leveson Inquiry was meant to be in two parts in the first place, Part 1 looked into press regulation but not the specifics of any wrongdoing, the conspiracies or the cover-up. Part 2 could not begin until the criminal and civil trials had been completed, which they now have.

Many of the executives involved are still in charge elsewhere and new evidence has since emerged. Furthermore, Rebekah Brooks returned as Chief Executive of News UK and faces allegations that phone hacking was rife during her stint with the Sun. The £50 million widely cited by those trying to stop Leveson II is a falsehood, this refers to the combined cost of Part 1 of the Inquiry (£5.4 million) and the three primary police investigations, Operations Elveden, Tuleta, and Weeting (including Operation Golding).

The necessity of a free press is well known but for as long as it has existed as a money-making venture, it has been manipulated into device to control populations to help increase the profit for their multi-billionaire owners. The fact that 80% of the free press in Britain is owned by 5 billionaires, shows the state of the affairs that has been the way for at centuries.