Peer calls time on Leve­son 2

Daily Mail - - News - By John Stevens Deputy Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

a TORY peer who tried to res­ur­rect plans for an­other multi-mil­lion-pound Press in­quiry yes­ter­day told his fel­low plot­ters it was time to give up.

Lord at­tlee urged the Lords to aban­don any more chal­lenges af­ter the Com­mons re­jected an at­tempt to stage a fur­ther Leve­son- style probe for a sec­ond time ear­lier this week.

The peer, who was one of three Tories to back a rebel amend­ment to the Data Pro­tec­tion Bill, said they should not seek to hold the leg­is­la­tion ‘to ran­som’.

He added: ‘We have had a good bat­tle and now we have lost. We should not pur­sue it fur­ther. We should not hold a time­sen­si­tive Bill to ran­som in or­der to force the Gov­ern­ment to change pol­icy. In my opin­ion, that would be wrong.’

‘I have cam­paigned very hard on this, but I could not con­vince my col­leagues in the House of Com­mons, that is democ­racy. If they do not want to do it, it is their choice. There is an­other amend­ment tabled, I would hope that would be with­drawn.’

Lord at­tlee is the grand­son of for­mer Labour prime min­is­ter Cle­ment at­tlee, who was in of­fice from 1945 to 1951.

On Tues­day, the Com­mons re­jected at­tempts to res­ur­rect the £5.4mil­lion in­quiry into historic al­le­ga­tions against news­pa­pers.

MPs were forced to act again on the is­sue af­ter peers at­tempted to amend the Data Pro­tec­tion Bill, ig­nor­ing an ear­lier vote in the Com­mons last week.

Down­ing Street later urged the Lords to fi­nally ‘re­spect the wishes of the elected house’.

Theresa May heaped pres­sure on peers to aban­don their assault on Press free­dom and her of­fi­cial spokesman said: ‘We wel­come the vote.

‘MPs have now voted twice to re­ject a back­ward-look­ing, dis­pro­por­tion­ate and costly Leve­son 2 in­quiry.’

Tues­day’s vote passed by 12 votes – 301 votes to 289 – an even larger ma­jor­ity than last week.

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