Newspaper industry seeks injunction against next stage of Royal Charter on press reform

Move is an attempt to delay the process

Media Editor

The newspaper industry has applied for an injunction against the Privy Council's consideration on Wednesday of a historical Royal Charter on press reform and has sought judicial review of a decision to reject its own charter.

The move is an attempt to delay the process of press reform as the Privy Council prepares to consider on Wednesday a Royal Charter approved by all three main political parties and proposing a system that will allow for punitive penalties on publications that chose not to sign up.

A separate charter, drawn up by the newspaper and magazine industry, was rejected by a sub-committee of the Privy Council earlier this month. Publishers claim that the MPs' Charter will allow political interference in the freedom of the press.

But in a potential late amendment to the MPs' Charter, the Culture Secretary Maria Miller is seeking to persuade persuaded Labour and the Liberal Democrats to introduce a strengthening of the "parliamentary lock" designed to prevent changes being made to the system by authoritarian future governments. The amendment requires that any future changes must be approved, not only by a two-thirds majority of both Houses of Parliament, but also by a two-thirds majority of the independent Recognition Panel overseeing the new press regulatory body.

Politicians will be hoping that the change will encourage newspapers, which have previously been very hostile to the MPs' charter, to reconsider joining up.

But yesterday the publishers sought an injunction of the Privy Council's consideration of the Parliament Charter and applied for judicial review of the decision to reject the industry's own charter.

Earlier this month, a sub-committee of the Privy Council ruled that the industry charter was insufficiently compliant with proposals for reform of press regulation put forward by Lord Justice Leveson following his long inquiry into the press.

In a joint statement, the Newspaper Society, the Newspaper Publishers Association, the Scottish Newspaper Society and the Professional Publishers Association, said the process had been unfair.

"The failure of the Privy Council Committee to carry out a fair and transparent consultation on the industry's Royal Charter application was made even more significant by the fact that the possible involvement of the state in the regulation of the Press raised very serious constitutional issues," it said.

"Given the gravity of these constitutional issues, the industry's lawyers asked the Privy Council on Friday to give an undertaking that the rival cross-party Royal Charter, written by politicians and the Hacked Off lobby group, would not be presented to the Queen for sealing on Wednesday. That request has been refused and an injunction will now be sought."

The Department of Culture, Media & Sport said it was "disappointed the press are undertaking legal action" after a long period of negotiations.

In a statement, it said: "The Industry Royal Charter was considered in an entirely proper and fair way by the Privy Council Committee and the reasons they were unable to recommend its grant are in the public domain.  Whilst they found acceptable areas, they identified fundamental issues that were not compatible with the Leveson principles such as a lack of independence around appointments and funding and no requirement to provide an arbitration scheme. 

"The Government is working to bring in a system of independent press self-regulation that will protect press freedom while offering real redress when mistakes are made.  The Culture Secretary pushed hard for recent changes on arbitration and the standards code to be made, which will ensure the system is workable and legal action is particularly disappointing in light of these changes."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Sphere Digital Recruitment: Display Account Manager

£25,000 to £35,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: The Company Our client are th...

Sphere Digital Recruitment: Sales Director

£80 – 120K : Sphere Digital Recruitment: Sales Director – Ad tech - £80 – 120K...

Sphere Digital Recruitment: Senior Analyst – Global Sports Gaming Brand

40,000- 50,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: Senior Analyst – Global Sports Gam...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser