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Libel laws 'to come under spotlight'

Libel laws 'to come under spotlight'

Libel laws in the UK are to come under scrutiny as a private member's bill on the subject is being championed.

Due to be published tomorrow, it is likely to be wide-ranging and will focus on some of the concerns expressed by groups such as scientists and doctors.

The changes are being tabled by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Lester.

He has acknowledged that there may be some resistance to the alterations being suggested.

While freedom of speech must be protected, good reputation must also be preserved in the face of irresponsible journalism, he stated.

Lord Lester is hoping his bill will get a second reading and, eventually, government backing.

Meanwhile, Simon Juden, chief executive of the Publishers Association, remarked: "All three parties have said they support libel reform, so I would be confident that when taken to a vote the right side would win," the Bookseller reports.

No one political party won a working majority of parliamentary seats in the recent election, so the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are operating as a coalition.

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