Labour’s Shadow Culture Secretary Ivan Lewis has said media organisations should consider banning rogue journalists who are guilty of “gross malpractice”.
In a speech to the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool today, the Bury South MP effectively floated the idea of having a register for professional journalists, with a new regulator having the power to strike off those who fall outside its rules.
Mr Lewis said: “We need a new system of independent regulation, including proper, like-for-like redress which means that mistakes and falsehoods on the front page receive apologies and retraction on the front page.
“And as with other professions, the industry should consider whether people guilty of gross malpractice should be struck off.”
Labour, Mr Lewis said, would also bring forward plans for tougher media ownership laws.
In a shot at Rupert Murdoch, whose newspaper the News of the World was at the very heart of the phone hacking, Mr Lewis said that “never again can one commercial organisation have so much power and control over our media”.
He said: “Mr Murdoch, never again think you can assert political power in the pursuit of your commercial interests or ideological beliefs. This is Britain, Mr Murdoch.
“The integrity of our media and our politics is not for sale.”