§ Mr. Kaufman
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress he has made in fulfilling the commitment given in Standing Committee E to reexamine clause 13 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Bill; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hurd
The Government made clear in Standing Committee that they were prepared to reconsider the case for keeping special protection for journalists' material in part II of the Police and Criminal Evidence Bill, in the light of any further views on this subject from those who speak for the profession. In the intervening period the Government have engaged in extensive consultation, from which it is clear that there does not at present exist a clear consensus for a change to the Bill's provisions. The Government remain prepared to listen to representations on this point, however, and have not ruled out the possibility of a change in the Bill's provisions if the evidence suggests that this would be right. In the meantime the Government will be bringing forward an amendment to clause 13, designed to make clear that material received unsolicited for the purposes of journalism is covered by the protection afforded by the clause.