Posted by: admin in Press Regulation on December 7th, 2012

Labour MP’s have confessed to being unconvinced, in the wake of the Leveson report, about the creation of a new Royal Charter to create a press watchdog. While Tory Prime Minister David Cameron wants no new laws and considers this option a possible way forward, it is understood that the opposition are wary of the move. Labour is concerned that the Royal Charter would effectively bypass parliament, and prefers the suggestions in Leveson that new legislation to govern the press is necessary. The BBC has heard that using the Privy Council to create the Charter is not Labours preferred option.

About Royal Charters

A Royal Charter is a formal document that is used to establish and create the terms of certain organisations. Both the Bank of England and the BBC are subject to Royal Charters. They remain fixed unless changed with government approval, and it is believed such a charter could help safeguard a press watchdog from changes to any terms by the press. The Prime Minister is concerned with gaining public confidence in the press, while surveys have suggested that public at large is against any form of legislation against a free press.

Newspaper Editors Meet

National newspaper editors have been discussing a form of self-regulation in the hope that they can stave off any calls for legislation. In a statement released on Thursday they said:

“The editors of all national newspapers met yesterday and unanimously agreed to start putting in place the broad proposals – save the statutory underpinning – for the independent self-regulatory system laid out by Lord Justice Leveson.”

However, pro-legislation group Hacked Off claimed the only way to go was with legislation. A spokesman said:

“The person best placed to draw up a blueprint for press regulation is Lord Justice Leveson. He concluded that guaranteed independence, long-term stability and effectiveness, all of which the public needs, could not be achieved without a validation body backed by law for the new self-regulator.”

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