Posted by: admin in Legal Issues on November 9th, 2012

The newspaper industry’s proposals for self regulation are an ‘unstable model destined to fail’ according to a group of 40 Tory MPs who have written to Prime Minister David Cameron expressing their concern over the matter. There have been calls, in the light of the Leveson Inquiry, for changes to the way the press is regulated, yet they have been met with resistance within the industry.

Letter to the PM

The letter, printed by The Guardian newspaper, includes the following:

“No one wants our media controlled by the government but, to be credible, any new regulator must be independent of the press as well as from politicians. We are concerned that the current proposal put forward by the newspaper industry would lack independence and risks being an unstable model destined to fail, like previous initiatives over the past 60 years.”

Signatories include Sir Malcolm Rifkind and a number of well-known back-benchers.

Against Legal Restrictions

Many MPs, including communities secretary Eric Pickles and education secretary Michael Gove, have expressed concern at any proposals for government controlled press, but there is a feeling among many more that there is need for greater regulation in Fleet Street. The press in the UK is rarely interfered with by the government and the populace, by and large, wants to see it remain that way.

Leveson Inquiry

The Leveson Inquiry, brought about by the phone hacking scandal that brought down the News of the World newspaper, has raised concerns about the behaviour of the press with regard to privacy laws. However, critics have pointed out that the inquiry amounted to nothing more than a witch hunt as it did not expose anything that was previously unknown. The likelihood of serious restrictions on the UK press is slim, and the MPs objections may come to nothing.

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