UK scraps plans for new inquiry into media wrongdoing

LONDON - The British government has scrapped plans for an inquiry into alleged media law-breaking and relations between journalists and the police.

Britain held a year-long, judge-led inquiry into press "culture and practices" after the 2011 revelation that employees of the now-defunct News of the World tabloid had hacked the mobile-phone voicemails of celebrities, politicians and crime victims.

At the time the government said there would be a second phase, looking at "unlawful or improper conduct" within media organizations and their relations with the police.

But successive Conservative-led governments delayed acting on the promise. Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said Thursday that reopening the "costly and time-consuming" inquiry was not the right thing to do.

Labour Party culture spokesman Tom Watson called the decision "a bitter blow to the victims of press intrusion."

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