Peta Buscombe to chair Press Complaints Commission

The Press Complaints Commission is set to announce the appointment of Advertising Association chief executive Baroness Peta Buscombe as its new chairman.

Buscombe will replace Sir Christopher Meyer when he steps down from the role at the end of March next year on completing his second three-year term in the post.

The former diplomat and ambassador to the United states took over the PCC job in 2003 from Lord Wakeham, at a time when self regulation of the press was in question. In 2003 a Parliamentary committee looked at imposing further statutory controls on the press.

Announcing his intention to step down earlier this year, Meyer said: ‘I have found the challenge of strengthening the independence, effectiveness and credibility of self-regulation as stimulating and demanding as any job I did as a diplomat.

‘The PCC has made a lot of progress in the past few years and today provides a service to record numbers of the public.

‘But more remains to be done, especially in the digital age, and it is right that, after six years as chairman, I should pass the baton to a successor.

‘I came into this job convinced that self-regulation administered by an independent PCC was the only system of regulation compatible with a free press in a democratic society. I will leave the PCC reinforced in that belief.”

Peta Buscombe’s move to the PCC was announced this evening by the Advertising Association.

In a statement, its chairman Mark Lund said: ‘Peta will leave with our best wishes and after a highly successful tenure. She will stay in post until April.

‘We look forward to announcing a successor to Peta in due course to continue to make the case for advertising as a force for good.”

In 2005, Meyer faced demands to stand down as chairman after publishing a book of memoirs – DC Confidential – detailing his time as US ambassador.

MPs claimed the book was a breach of trust with ministers and made Meyer unfit to chair the PCC. The book was serialised in the Daily Mail and The Guardian.

Meyer has assured MPs that he has no plans to write a ‘PCC confidential”.

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