Labour's only Leveson rebel hails a 'good day for press freedom'

The only MP who rebelled to oppose Labour attempts to establish a new inquiry into newspaper ethics has said the party's defeat marks "a good day for press freedom".

John Grogan was the only MP to defy the Labour whip to vote against the party's attempts to establish an inquiry into press ethics dubbed Leveson part two.

Keighley MP John Grogan voted with the Government to successfully oppose Doncaster MP and former Labour leader Ed Miliband's moves to amend the Data Protection Bill to establish a statutory inquiry dubbed Leveson part two.

Mr Miliband's amendment was rejected by 304 votes to 295, majority nine, when pushed to a vote in the Commons.

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Mr Grogan was the only Labour MP to rebel and vote against it, defending his decision by insisting Mr Miliband's demands were "far too wide-ranging" compared to the original scope of the Leveson inquiry.

He also said he was glad Labour had decided not to push to a vote an attempt to make newspapers which are not signed up to a state-approved regulator pay "punitive" court costs, even if they won an action.

Mr Grogan told The Yorkshire Post: "It was significant that the Labour frontbench did not press to a vote the amendment imposing the prospect of punitive damages on newspapers who would not bend the knee and sign up to a state approved regulator.

"Hopefully this idea is now gone for good.

"The original terms of reference of Leveson 2 were all about investigating police corruption and News International.

"My good friend Ed Miliband’s amendment made scant reference to any of this and was far too wide ranging which was why I voted against.

"All in all a good day for the United Kingdom’s reputation for press freedom."

Mr Miliband tweeted: "Very disappointed for the victims of phone-hacking and press abuse that we did not win the vote for Leveson 2. The battle goes on to keep our promise to them to get the truth they deserve and protection for victims in the future."