Leveson: Newspapers and magazines reveal 'Independent Press Standards Organisation'

Claiming to deliver 'key recommendations', IPSO will not need the underpinning of a royal charter to impose £1m fines

Political Correspondent

A rebranded and revamped replacement for the defunct press regulation body heavily criticised by the Leveson Inquiry, has been revealed by a group representing Britain's largest newspaper and magazine publishers.

The constitutional structure of the new " Independent Press Standards Organisation" (IPSO), will now be looked at by the Privy Council ahead of the current government-backed royal charter which was passed by parliament in March.

Claiming to be a "complete break from the past" and to deliver "key recommendations" made in the Leveson report, IPSO will not need the underpinning of a royal charter to impose £1m fines, operate a whistle-blowers hotline, investigate complaints and to allow "upfront corrections and adjudications".

Paul Vickers, the legal director of Trinity Mirror who chaired the group of newspaper and magazine publishers which drew up the IPSO's constitution sent to the government, said the new body would have "very real teeth". Mr Vickers, in an interview with the BBC, denied it was a "creature of the industry" and claimed to have the support of the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller.

The clash of two distinctly different visions for the regulatory future of Britain's fourth estate has already created constitutional shock-waves. The former deputy prime minister, Lord Prescott, has announced he is to resign from the Privy Council over the "highly political " way the sovereign advisory body has acted over plans for a new regulatory framework for the press.

Lord Prescott criticised the IPSO constitution being given precedence over the charter already voted on by parliament. He said the decision confirmed his " worst fears" that the government were rushing the examination of an industry-backed version of regulation through the Privy Council. He called the process a "conspiracy between the Prime Minister and the press."

David Cameron has said that the press-backed charter, rather than royal charter approved by MPs in March, had "serious shortcomings".

Although the new IPSO constitution can be seen as marginalising the hard-line recommendations put forward by Lord Justice Leveson and the retention of self-regulation backed by Rupert Murdoch's News UK, the Daily Mail publisher, Associated Newspapers and the Telegraph Media Group, other UK newspaper groups who previously offered support for March's royal charter, reacted positively to the new structure.

Chris Blackhurst, the newly-appointed group content director of The independent and Evening Standard titles said "We've always called for genuine transparency and today's development should go some way towards allaying that concern. These proposals should lead to a beefed-up system with genuine punishments and the power to launch investigations. "

A spokesman for Guardian News and Media, who along with the Financial Times and The Independent, had previously been luke-warm to an industry-dominated regulator, said "We look forward to receiving the documents [the IPSO draft constitution] and participating in the consultation."

Brian Cathcart, the executive director of the Hacked Off pressure group which participated in the political manoeuvring behind the royal charter, told The Independent : "On this evidence the newspaper industry looks to be still in denial about the need for change. If it really wants to convince us, it should back the March charter in the same way the public and victims have done."

Professor Cathcart said IPSO was simply "cosmetic change" and a way of "ducking the royal charter". He claimed the Privy Council could only advise and judge policy, not create its own, and that once the alternative to the charter was rejected the newspaper industry would seek a judicial review that could push future regulation beyond the next general election.

Mr Vickers also issued a similar threat saying there were "large parts of the industry that would find it very, very difficult to support [a charter]" . He warned that with annual costs of the charter structure estimated at £3.5m to £4m, a "critical mass of papers and publishers" would simply "walk away".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A full-service agency based in ...

Recruitment Genius: Subscriptions and Marketing Assistant

£12500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A subscriptions and marketing a...

Recruitment Genius: Advertising / Media Sales Executive

£15000 - £22200 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious candidate is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Sub-editor - Editorial - Publishing

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A sub-editor is required to joi...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high