Lord Leveson address seminar

Lord Justice Leveson: 'No purpose in my solving yesterday's battles without considering tomorrow's'

Former business secretary Lord Mandelson has urged the Leveson inquiry to pay more attention to the impact that the internet is having on the news industry, instead of focusing on matters that are "largely historic".

In his written evidence to the inquiry, Mandelson said that while the wide-ranging inquiry "should not shy away from looking into the problems of the past and correcting them, it has to think about the issues of the future".

He said: "The questions this inquiry is looking at - the nature of the relationship between the media and politics - are important ones but, from my view point, largely historic."

Mandelson added: "I realise the inquiry is looking at digital media with a print history, but this hardly amounts to coming to grips with the internet as a whole.

"Media business models are being ransacked, governments are losing control of the information flow and the public are being given access to a flood of undigested and unmediated 'news' all in the name of free speech.

"Important as are the issues of who said what to whom about the Communications Act 2003, or the boasts of self-aggrandising media lobbyists and the intriguing new meaning of 'LOL', it seems to me that there are bigger media issues confronting our society."

Lord Justice Leveson responded yesterday: "We've focused a lot on what's happened, as it were, in he last years because that at least provides us with a base from which to proceed to consider what might happen, but as you imply in your statement, there is no purpose in my simply solving yesterday's battles without considering tomorrow's."

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