Parliament to review media law

'Tapas Seven' payout prompts inquiry into libel and privacy

The Commons culture, media and sport select committee is to carry out a wide ranging inquiry into the effectiveness of privacy and libel laws.

The inquiry, which will also examine the impact of Conditional Fee Agreements and contempt of court issues, follows a series of successful libel claims in relation to the reporting of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The Committee, chaired by John Whittingdale, will consider whether the failure of the Press Complaints Commission to launch its own inquiry following the payouts exposes “a serious weakness in the self-regulatory regime”.

Newspaper groups and other interested parties have been invited to make written submissions ahead of the inquiry, which will take place in 2009.