Today at Culture, Media and Sport Questions, I asked Culture Secretary Maria Miller MP to set up a cross-party process on media ownership:
'I hope the Secretary of State agrees that, despite our political differences and the occasional blip, and despite the fact that we are by no means out of the woods yet, we worked well together on the basis of trust and good faith, and worked well with the Liberal Democrats, in trying to sort out the question of press complaints following the Leveson report. However, as she has just said, we have yet to deal with the important issue of monopoly media ownership, which prevents the market from operating by preventing new entrants to it, as well as being bad for democracy.
'May I ask the Secretary of State to do what the Government did before, namely set up and lead cross-party talks on the question of media ownership? We—and, I am sure, the Liberal Democrats—would be very willing to work with the Government to deal with that aspect of the Leveson inquiry, which is important and which has not yet been tackled.'
Maria Miller replied that the Government would seek view on media ownership over the summer and that she thought ‘that if we are to provide the sort of broad policy framework that we need, we should seek views on those matters rather than engaging in further political discussion’.