Press announces timetable for 'toughest regulator in the world'

Move designed to bypass a Royal Charter due to go before Queen next week

Media Editor

The newspaper and magazine industries have announced a timetable for the "toughest regulator anywhere in the developed world" in a move designed to outflank politicians and bypass a Royal Charter on press regulation due to go before the Queen next week.

In a dramatic development in the long-running saga prompted by the tabloid phone-hacking scandal, a consortium of newspaper and magazine industry trade bodies set out final plans for the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), which could be operational by next year. Newspapers are due to begin signing contracts for the new body in the immediate weeks.

The Industry Implementation Group published 80 pages of legal documents on a dedicated new IPSO website in what the main political parties will see as a direct challenge to the system proposed in a Parliament-approved Royal Charter, which was fiercely opposed by almost all sections of the press.

The newspaper industry has also applied for judicial review of the rejection of its own Royal Charter on press regulatory reform by a Privy Council sub-committee this month.

In a statement, Paul Vickers, the group's chairman and Executive Director of Trinity Mirror plc, said the IPSO plans were the result of nine months of work following the publication of Lord Justice Leveson's report on press reform.

"As a result of this painstaking and thorough exercise, we can now move to establish the tough, independent, effective regulator that Lord Justice Leveson called for in his report," he said.

"I am confident that what we have produced will be the toughest regulator anywhere in the developed world - one which will guarantee the public the protection it deserves, but which will also ensure we maintain the free press on which our democracy is founded."

The IPSO system will create a regulator with "tough powers" of investigation, enforcement and sanction, the group said. It will also be able to impose fines of up to £1m on errant publishers.

Publishers will now be asked to sign IPSO contracts, a process expected to take eight weeks. The new body has the backing of the Newspaper Society, which represents the regional press, and the PPA, trade body for the magazine sector.

IPSO will be run by individuals chosen via an independent appointments process set up by a Foundation Group headed by Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, a former judge and president of the Supreme Court.

Bob Satchwell, president of the Society of Editors, said that the system ensured that editors would be "three steps removed" from IPSO's complaints process. "Whatever other things are happening IPSO can be up and running in 2014," he said. "What I would hope is that it goes ahead as quickly as possible and puts all the shenanigans of the last couple of years behind us."

The IPSO plans were largely set out in an alternative Royal Charter put forward by a large section of the press but rejected by a sub-committee of the Privy Council, which ruled this month that it was not compliant with Leveson's wishes. A Royal Charter originally drawn up by political parties in March and slightly amended this month is due to be considered by the Privy Council on 30 October.

Large newspaper groups - including the publishers of the Daily Mail, The Times and the Daily Telegraph - have objected to the proposals by MPs, which include controversial plans for an arbitration system and potential exemplary damages imposed on newspapers which do not sign up. The document could be amended by future Parliaments. The mechanism of a Royal Charter has been criticised by Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, as a "medieval piece of nonsense". The Independent and i newspapers are still considering their positions.

Hugh Grant's Hacked Off campaign denounced the latest press announcement as "predictable and self-serving".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin (based in London)

£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...

Guru Careers: Business Analyst / Digital Business Analyst

£50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Analyst / Digital Bus...

Guru Careers: Business Development Manager / Sales

£30 - 40k (£65k Y1 OTE Uncapped): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Deve...

Guru Careers: Graduate Media Assistant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power