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Press Recognition Panel calls for urgent government action to enforce Leveson-compliant regulation

Press Recognition Panel calls for urgent government action to enforce Leveson-compliant regulation

Categories: Latest News

Thursday November 30 2017

The Press Regulation Panel, the body which independently oversees Leveson compliant press regulation in the UK, has released its latest annual report calling for urgent Government action to bring the full recommendations of the Leveson inquiry into press standards into force.

The PRP’s second report on the state of the recognition system concludes that as the statutory costs-shifting provisions Leveson envisaged are yet to be enforced, it cannot judge the success or failure of the system. The PRP says it pictures success as being when all or most significant relevant publishers are members of one or more recognised regulators.

The PRP has highlighted its frustrations at the fact that a year after the publication of its first annual report, the recognition system has yet to be enacted in full. It has also described how a “concerted campaign to undermine the system” has left the position of ordinary people and the public interest marginalised.

The report cites MEND’s support for a Leveson compliant recognition system, as evidenced by our submission to the call for information by the PRP ahead of the publication of its report. The report also highlights campaign group Hacked Off’s support for enacting section 40 provisions, which it explains “exist to provide access to justice for potential media claimants (and regulated defendants) through its costs-shifting effects and promotion of recognised arbitration”.

The PRP states that ever since the Leveson report was published five years ago, a significant proportion of the press have resisted complying with its recommendations, making it clear they will not sign up to an approved regulator. The PRP says that the delay in commencing section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act supports the interests of the particular section of the press who oppose it.

The call for government to carry out the commencement order required to bring section 40 into force has grown louder recently with a number of press articles highlighting the impotence of industry-funded regulator IPSO. The regulator refused to investigate complaints that the Times’ headline “Christian child forced into Muslim foster case” was inaccurate, and found no breach of the Editors’ Code in Trevor Kavanagh’s use of the phrase “The Muslim Problem” in his article published in The Sun the same month.


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