Libel reform urged at party conferences

Libel reform urged at party conferences

<p>The Libel Reform Campaign will be holding events at all three party conferences this autumn, kicking off with one at the Liberal Democrat conference in Liverpool tomorrow (21st September).</p><p>The events will be &quot;part of a concerted move to remind politicians of their manifesto commitments to reform,&quot; the campaign said.</p><p>All three political parties made a commitment to libel reform in their general election manifestos, with the new coalition government making a commitment to a Libel Reform Bill on 9th July. Government lawyers are now preparing the first draft of the Bill.</p><p>Jonathan Heawood, director of English PEN, said the coalition government &quot;has a unique opportunity to restore free speech and common sense to libel law&quot; and that the publishing community had &quot;spoken with a strong and unified voice on this issue&quot;. &quot;As part of the libel reform campaign, English PEN will continue to put pressure on all political parties to fulfil their promises,&quot; he said.</p><p>Speakers at the various conference events will include Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, author Simon Singh and Tom McNally, minister of state for Justice.</p><p>The Libel Reform Campaign is run by English PEN, Index on Censorship and Sense About Science.</p>