The government has been quietly sideling Leveson 2 for months but after byline.com reported that main stream news papers had spiked a story about the culture secretary and a call girl, it is top news once again.
John Whittingdale last night issued a statement to Newsnight in which he confirmed that he’d had a relationship with a woman who was also a dominatrix. The six-month fling ended before he became Culture Secretary. John Whittingdale said "This is an old story which was a bit embarrassing at the time. The events occurred long before I took up my present position and it has never had any influence on the decisions I have made as culture secretary,”.
Newspapers like the Sun, Mail on Sunday, People and Independent all looked at the story years ago and decided not to run it. But it appears they each decided there was little public interest in doing so. Papers have yet to explain what the public interest is in revealing the celebrity threesome case though.
However, it now appears that John Whittingdale did not tell No10 about his previous relationship when he was offered the Cabinet post. Downing Street say that as a single man this is a private affair, but the potential for future blackmail may worry some in Whitehall.
John Whittingdale once hinted that Leveson 2 should go ahead, but has since changed his mind. Conflict of interest?
Back in December 2015 Leveson 2 was quietly shelved as the conclusion of Operation Weeting left the way open for part two of the Leveson Inquiry to finally commence, but it never happened.
The first inquiry examined the culture, practices and ethics of the British press and published a 2,000-page report in November 2012.
The second part, looking at specific claims about phone-hacking at the News of the World and what went wrong with the original police investigation, was delayed pending the conclusion of criminal prosecutions.
Can the current situation revitalise Leveson 2 or maybe kick start a Leveson 3?