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JK Rowling ‘dismayed’ at response to press report

- Associated Press - Friday, November 30, 2012

LONDON (AP) - Victims of press intrusion including writer J.K. Rowling on Friday urged Britain's political leaders to fully implement a judge's recommendations on regulating the country's often unruly newspapers.

Rowling, who was one of dozens of people who gave evidence about press intrusion last year during a media ethics inquiry, said that she was "alarmed and dismayed" by Prime Minister David Cameron's lukewarm response to Lord Justice Brian Leveson's report, published Thursday to conclude the probe.

Leveson's 2,000-page report concluded that Britain's press sometimes "wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people," and recommended the print media be regulated by a new body enshrined in law. Cameron said he welcomed the proposal, but was reluctant to set down new laws to back a press regulator because such a move could threaten freedom of the press.

Rowling wrote on the website of the Hacked Off group, which campaigns for victims of press intrusion, that she feared nothing will change to hold the press to account.

"Having taken David Cameron's assurances in good faith at the outset of the inquiry he set up, I am merely one among many who feel duped and angry in its wake," she wrote.

The 47-year-old writer had told of how journalists had driven her out of her home and targeted her 5-year-old daughter at school during the inquiry, triggered by a scandal over tabloid phone hacking that expanded to engulf senior figures in politics, the police and Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

Hacked Off on Friday launched an online petition urging Cameron and other politicians to implement Leveson's recommendations in full.

The recommendations have pitched Cameron against Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, his coalition partner, who argued that a new law on press regulation should be introduced without delay. Cross-party talks were being held in an attempt to reach an agreement.

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