MPs and the NUJ have delivered a protest over plans to axe the Newspaper Registration Service, which they claim could lead to the closure of newspapers and a “serious erosion of press freedom”.
And they will follow up their action with protests to Royal Mail bosses, who plan to close the service in September.
The delegation of MPs and NUJ members called on Department of Trade and Industry minister Stephen Timms in an effort to protect the service, which they claim helps to provide access to a wide variety of news and information sources.
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear, who joined MPs Austin Mitchell and Angus Robertson, chair and vice-chair of the NUJ Parliamentary Group, said the decision to axe the service is a clear example of social need being sacrificed for the pursuit of profit.
The Newspaper Registration Service was established in the mid-19th century to enable smaller publishers to reach by post readers living in areas not well served by newsagents and to promote literacy and freedom of information across the UK.
It enables registered newspapers to receive first-class delivery for second-class rates.
Royal Mail bosses claim the service costs £7m a year and they can no longer afford to run it.