Regional press vow to oppose 'special interest lobby' Royal Charter

The regional press vowed to continue the battle against press regulation after the Royal Charter was signed by the Queen in a private meeting of the Privy Council yesterday.

They will also appeal the refusal of the High Court to review a previous decision by the Privy Council to reject a charter put forward by the media.

The request for an injunction and a judicial review was rejected just 45 minutes before the Privy Council was due to meet.

The charter will establish a recognition body to oversee a press regulator, to be set up by the industry, with the power to levy fees of up to £1m.

Newspaper Society president Adrian Jeakings said: “The regional and local press – in common with newspapers and magazines across the UK – will not be signing up to the cross-party Royal Charter sealed yesterday. It was devised by politicians and a special interest lobby group and imposed on an unwilling industry.  

“We firmly believe that, by establishing a tough new self regulatory scheme under the Independent Press Standards Organisation together with other news and magazine publishers from across the press, we can guarantee the public the protection it deserves whilst ensuring that the press remains truly free, and unfettered by political interference."

He added: “And in case anyone is in any doubt we will be appealing yesterday’s decision not to grant a judicial review.”

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