The UK’s three main political parties reach an agreement on establishing a new system of press regulation, a government source says.
A source said that Labour had agreed to a number of changes to the draft royal charter, proposed by Culture Secretary Maria Miller, which are intended to make the new system of regulation more palatable to the press.
“We have a deal and the Labour party have finally agreed to the changes proposed by the culture secretary to try and make it more workable,” one source said.
It follows the rejection of a system of self-regulation proposed by the newspaper industry earlier in the week.
However, it is understood that there have been some concessions made in order to appease the newspaper industry. This includes a fee for those who want to take action against a newspaper, in order to prevent speculative claims.
Under the royal charter, the newspaper industry will also set out a code of conduct for editors, which will be agreed with the independent regulator.
The new sysytem of press regulation follows recommendation from the Leveson inquiry, which was triggered following revelations that the phone messages of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler had been hacked by the News of the World.
The new version of the charter supersedes a previous document, drawn up by the three main parties in the presence of lobby group Hacked Off on 18 March.
Victims of press abuse now look to the industry to… put behind them a shocking period in which… some sections of the press all too often wreaked havoc in the lives of innocent people. Brian Cathcart, Hacked Off
Brian Cathcart, executive director at Hacked Off, said the changes would mean members of the public were discouraged from taking action against the media.
He said: “We note that, in the last-minute technical changes to the charter, there have been further concessions to the press industry lobby – notably, that it now permits an administrative charge for members of the public to use the new arbitration service.
“This is not what Lord Justice Leveson recommended and may well deter some members of the public from seeking redress when they have been wronged by news publishers.”
However, he added that he hoped the issue would now be put to rest, and that newspapers would “embrace” the charter process.
He said: “We trust that those newspaper organisations which have been demanding this change – notably the local and regional press – will now accept that they have no reason to object to the system and will fully embrace the charter process.
“The way is now open to create a system of independent, effective press self-regulation that will benefit the public and poses no threat whatever to freedom of expression.
“Victims of press abuse now look to the industry to embrace that opportunity and put behind them a shocking period in which, in the words of Lord Justice Leveson, some sections of the press all too often wreaked havoc in the lives of innocent people.”
A source said that Labour had agreed to a number of changes to teh draft Royal Charter, proposed by Culture Secretary Maria Miller, which are intended to make the new system of regulation more palatable to the press.
main political parties have reached agreement on a proposed royal charter establishing a new system of press regulation, Government sources have said.
Labour has agreed to a series of changes put forward by Culture Secretary Maria Miller intended to make the charter more palatable to the press, according to the sources.
“We have a deal and the Labour Party have finally agreed to the changes proposed by the Culture Secretary to try and make it more workable,” one source said.