MP unveils her plan for a new press watchdog

Daily Echo: Culture Secretary and Basingstoke MP Maria Miller Culture Secretary and Basingstoke MP Maria Miller

CULTURE Secretary and Basingstoke MP Maria Miller has unveiled her vision for a new press watchdog.

Her proposal is for the press to create a regulator to hear complaints and investigate wrongdoing.

Newspapers and magazines that sign up to the regulator could be fined up to £1million if they break the rules.

The plans include a legally binding Royal Charter to create a ‘recognition panel’ which would oversee the regulator to ensure that it is doing its job properly.

The panel would consist of up to eight members, and would exclude editors, publishers and politicians.

Mrs Miller, who has been at the heart of the debate over press regulation, said the proposal would result in a tough new regulator that would not hinder press freedom.

“It would see the toughest press regulation this country has ever seen, without compromising press freedom,” she said.

“I have been clear that the status quo is not an option and that we need tough independent self-regulation.

“Equally, I have said that I have grave concerns about a press bill and am not convinced that it is necessary on the grounds of principle, practicality or necessity.”

On November 29, Lord Justice Leveson published a 1,987-page report into “the culture, practices and ethics of the press”.

The Leveson inquiry, which lasted 15 months, was sparked by revelations of phone hacking at the now defunct News of the World newspaper.

The judge recommended forming an independent, self-regulatory watchdog backed by statute.

Mrs Miller’s proposal dampens fears that a watchdog backed by legislation would erode press freedom.

A Royal Charter is legally binding but does not need to be voted on by Parliament.

The Conservatives are now negotiating with Labour and the Liberal Democrats over the plan’s small print.

Mrs Miller wants a decision on whether to push ahead with the proposals to be made by February 21.

Comments (6)

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11:36pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Mighty Antar says...

Thank goodness we have people like Maria Miller to defend the press from over-regulation. We wouldn't want the press to be chained by the burden of truth, honesty and integrity. How marvelous to given her lame and limp-wristed vision rather than that of an unbiased judge who sat through months of testimony from those most affected by the scandlous and horrific excesses of the press. What a load of
Thank goodness we have people like Maria Miller to defend the press from over-regulation. We wouldn't want the press to be chained by the burden of truth, honesty and integrity. How marvelous to given her lame and limp-wristed vision rather than that of an unbiased judge who sat through months of testimony from those most affected by the scandlous and horrific excesses of the press. What a load of Mighty Antar
  • Score: 0

8:55am Fri 22 Feb 13

JJ38JJ says...

On the other hand would you prefer a press that was controlled by legislation approved by members of parliament such as Maria Miller? There are countries in the world where this is the case and I wouldn't want to live in any of them.

I don't trust the press and I don't trust MPs but at least if they are independent the MPs are kept on their toes. Can you imagine the expenses scandal having so much impact if the MPs were controlling the press?
On the other hand would you prefer a press that was controlled by legislation approved by members of parliament such as Maria Miller? There are countries in the world where this is the case and I wouldn't want to live in any of them. I don't trust the press and I don't trust MPs but at least if they are independent the MPs are kept on their toes. Can you imagine the expenses scandal having so much impact if the MPs were controlling the press? JJ38JJ
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12:44pm Fri 22 Feb 13

popleyrebel2 says...

Freedom of the press/ free speech will not be affected if Lord Leveson’s recommendations are implemented, the press have abused our freedom of speech by insisting with that old chestnut
“never let truth get in way of good story”
As for the expenses scandal, that was carried out by “good” investigative Journalism, and there will always be a place for such journalism, (facts not fiction)
What does surprise me however, the fact that Maria Miller is still is there after her office tried to mute the press over her own expenses.
Maria Miller MP has total control over the Gazette, without any legislation therefore, whatever system is implemented, her parapet will be too high to breach.
Freedom of the press/ free speech will not be affected if Lord Leveson’s recommendations are implemented, the press have abused our freedom of speech by insisting with that old chestnut “never let truth get in way of good story” As for the expenses scandal, that was carried out by “good” investigative Journalism, and there will always be a place for such journalism, (facts not fiction) What does surprise me however, the fact that Maria Miller is still is there after her office tried to mute the press over her own expenses. Maria Miller MP has total control over the Gazette, without any legislation therefore, whatever system is implemented, her parapet will be too high to breach. popleyrebel2
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11:58am Mon 25 Feb 13

Upontheroof says...

More to hide than to gain once again!
More to hide than to gain once again! Upontheroof
  • Score: 0

12:31pm Mon 25 Feb 13

popleyrebel2 says...

Don’t be at all surprised if Maria Miller turns up at Eastleigh campaigning for the Tory candidate, it would be an insult for her to condemn the local Lib -Councils policies after being silent on her Council acting unlawfully
Don’t be at all surprised if Maria Miller turns up at Eastleigh campaigning for the Tory candidate, it would be an insult for her to condemn the local Lib -Councils policies after being silent on her Council acting unlawfully popleyrebel2
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12:44pm Mon 25 Feb 13

popleyrebel2 says...

P.S.
It will be the final insult if she condemns their housing policy.
P.S. It will be the final insult if she condemns their housing policy. popleyrebel2
  • Score: 0

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