Newspaper Editors Throw Weight behind Majority of Leveson Proposals

After a meeting last Wednesday editors of leading national newspapers said they will give their backing to most of the proposals of the Leveson enquiry.

They promised to support 40 out of the 47 proposals put forward by Lord Leveson concerning the creation of a new press regulator.

Some of the suggestions are about giving the regulator the authority to impose fines of up to £1m and the establishment of a low-cost tribunal system for libel and privacy claims.

Unfortunately it turned out that newspapers object the creation of law for the new regulatory body to operate under. Another thing they also baulked was the suggestion of employing Ofcom, or some other body, to control the new regulator.

In David Cameron’s words he was also unwilling to change the law. If Downing Street manages to formulate a non-statutory solution on the control of the regulator, it will later appear in the newspaper.

The Independent Editor Chris Blackhurst said while speaking on BBC Radio 4, that they “pretty much agreed to all” of the recommendations in Leveson’s report.

He said it seemed to him pretty strange and surprising that the rival editors agreed to co-operate:

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my time as a journalist. We are all used to the sort of annual fisticuffs at press awards, and all the shouting matches, and we all hate each other.”

The other guests at the meeting, held at breakfast at the Delaunay restaurant on the Aldwych road, were Alan Rusbridger from the Guardian, Dominic Mohan from the Sun, Tony Gallagher from the Daily Telegraph, Lloyd Embley from the Mirror, Lionel Barber from the Financial Times, and Sarah Sands from the Evening Standard.

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