8. Mr. John Whittingdale (Maldon and East Chelmsford) (Con): Whether he plans to take steps to reduce the incidence of libel tourism; and if he will make a statement. [323391]

The Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (Mr. Jack Straw): I thank the hon. Gentleman for the recent report on this issue by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which he chairs. In parallel, in January I established a working group on the libel laws, and I have today, by written ministerial statement, published that report. As the latter makes clear, action on libel tourism is urgently needed and will be taken as soon as possible. That will be part of a draft libel Bill that we intend to publish in the new Parliament, as well as other more immediate action that we believe, and the working party believes, could be undertaken by changes in the procedural rules and in judicial practice.