The Liberal Democrats and Labour have published our Royal Charter proposals. They can be found here
Unlike the Tory plans, our joint Royal Charter:
* Stops editors having a veto over who holds them to account.
* Stops editors from writing their own Code of Conduct.
* Ensures newspapers will have to make an appropriate apology when they get things wrong.
* Ensures third parties can complain about inappropriate press conduct.
These plans will introduce robust press regulation to ensure that there can be no repeat of the phone-hacking scandal.
The Tories plans would mean the press could effectively prevent any nominee they wish from joining the board of the regulatory body that will monitor them. They could propose changes to the code of conduct, and the regulatory body would be obliged to accept these proposals. Yet, although the regulatory body would be able to instruct newspapers to apologise publicly in cases of misconduct, it would have no powers to enforce apologies. According to these plans, successive governments could also make changes to these regulations at any time.
The Tories want the press to write their own rules, choose who checks that they are sticking to the rules, and choose their own punishment if they break the rules!
The blueprint drawn out today between the Liberal Democrats and Labour represents a much strengthened version of the Tory plans. Our proposal would ensure that the press regulatory body remains truly independent, and has the teeth to sanction media misconduct, backed by legislation.
Over recent theyear, the press have demonstrated that it is absolutely necessary to have more robust regulation. We must remember the victims of phone hacking, and our obligation to ensure that such wide-scale abuse does not happen again. Our proposals take the right course of action in the wake of media turmoil following years of misconduct. We must ensure that the press acts responsibly, and can restore its reputation in years to come.
Making weak, diluted compromises will not create the lasting change required, and simply creates a regulatory system that is too vulnerable.