David Cameron defends delays in press regulation


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The Independent Online

Press-regulation plans proposed by the industry have “serious shortcomings”, David Cameron said as he defended delays in pushing forward a Commons-backed version instead.

Victims of press intrusion wrote an open letter to the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, urging her to press ahead with the implementation of a cross-party Royal Charter along the lines recommended by last year’s Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking.

Progress on the new system, agreed at a late-night meeting attended by members of the campaign group Hacked Off in March, has been delayed after newspapers submitted a rival charter and is not due to be considered by the Privy Council until the autumn.

Mr Cameron told MPs he had not changed his view on the issue and blamed procedural arrangements for the hold-up. “The legal advice… is that we have to take these things in order – we have to take the press’s Royal Charter first and then we have to bring forward the Royal Charter on which we have all agreed.

“I think the press’s Royal Charter has some serious shortcomings so no, I haven’t changed my view.”

The press’s plan would avoid any state underpinning for the new regulatory regime.