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Why Section 40 should be repealed

Imagine exposing corruption, winning a court case in which it is proven that you told the truth, but then being landed with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of costs run up by the corrupt individual who sued you.

That’s what will happen to newspapers and campaigning groups if Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act is not repealed. This gagging clause will chill investigative reporting and prevent campaigning groups from exposing the truth. That was not the intention of the Leveson Inquiry nor is it something that anyone has voted for.

Section 40 was in fact snuck through parliament in just 13 hours after a cross-party stitch-up. At that time, some MPs complained they hadn’t even seen the draft of the text they were voting on. The clause arguably breaches human rights to free speech and is legally questionable.

The Gagging Clause will not encourage publishers to join a controversial state-recognised regulator. It will only achieve the collateral damage of chilling free speech.

This consultation should ensure stories that the public need to hear about are not silenced. From NHS mismanagement, to local council corruption, to fraud by big business and tax dodging by the global elite.

There is only one way to achieve this, please repeal Section 40.

An 89up campaign - supported by the News Media Association