Lords call for Parliamentary debate on press regulation

The House of Lords communications committee has blasted Government attempts to impose press regulation without adequate debate.

Lord Inglewood has written to Culture Secretary Maria Miller claiming there has been inadequate scrutiny of whatever form of press regulation is introduced.

The Government’s original plan to sign off on a Royal Charter after next week’s Privy Council meeting have been derailed by the threatened judicial review by several newspapers.

Inglewood said a full debate on the final wording of any proposal is required because of the important role the press plays in democratic society.

Peers believe that a debate on the planned Independent Press Standards Organisation is necessary to determine whether it will be independent and effective.

Inglewood wrote: “Whilst individual members have their own opinions on the content of the final draft Royal Charter on the self-regulation of the press, we have not as a committee come to any conclusion on its contents.

“We are, however, united in the view that the parliamentary consideration of the draft Royal Charter is not adequate.

"Given the constitutional importance of the freedom of the press, and the political topicality and controversy surrounding this subject, we do not feel anything less than a full debate on the final text is appropriate and I am writing to request, even at this late stage, one be held."

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