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As Index on Censorship and English Pen launch “Free Speech is Not For Sale”, a damning report on English libel laws,
John Kampfner highlights the pressing need for reform
It really has got this bad. Several American publishers have told the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport committee that they’re considering withdrawing their publications from sale in the United Kingdom, as they fear becoming subject to libel proceedings in London.
We’re talking the New Yorker, US Vogue, the New York Times, Vanity Fair and others. Serious publications, with serious financial clout, all fast approaching the conclusion that our libel laws make it more trouble than its worth to publish in England.
Something’s got to give.
A new report by English PEN Index on Censorship argues that fear of libel action means that freedom of expression is under threat as never before, John Kampfner tells the Independent’s Ian Burrell