ISPs should face legal censure for allowing customers to access defamatory material, according to a leading lawyer who worked on the Leveson inquiry into media behaviour.

In the initial report, Lord Justice Leveson skated around the issue of whether online entities should face the same legal scrutiny as newspapers and traditional publications.

Now the lead counsel to the inquiry, Robert Jay, QC, has suggested that new laws could make ISPs liable for giving customers access to material that would normally see newspapers face penalties.