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Tories publish draft Royal Charter on media rules

Tories publish draft Royal Charter on media rules

The Conservative plan to create a new press regulator backed by Royal Charter is in line with the "principles" of the Leveson report, the Culture Secretary has said.

The Tories' draft Royal Charter, published this evening, would see a "recognition panel" set up to ensure the new press regulator works effectively.

Maria Miller said the plan would allow Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations to be implemented "swiftly and in a practical fashion".

"It would see the toughest press regulation this country has ever seen, without compromising press freedom," she said.

“I have been clear that the ‘status quo’ is not an option and that we need tough independent self-regulation. Equally, I have said that I have grave concerns about a press bill and am not convinced that it is necessary on the grounds of principle, practicality or necessity. The ongoing cross party talks will seek to secure consensus around the Royal Charter.” 

But Labour's Harriet Harman has rejected the idea, saying her party will not support "a proposal which offers less than the independence and stability recommended by Leveson". 

In a letter to Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin, the Shadow Culture Secretary expressed "serious concerns" about the plan.

Campaign group Hacked Off has also criticised the content of the Charter, warning it would "give the press what they want".

Former Lib Dem MP and Hacked Off associate director Evan Harris told the BBC:

"We’re going to go back to the Press Complaints Commission, that’s totally unacceptable to victims and is a breach of a promise given to those victims by the Prime Minister."

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