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Lords quiz press regulators in first evidence session


The House of Lords Communication Committee kicks off its new inquiry into press regulation on Tuesday 13 January, when it will question representatives from the Press Recognition Panel and the Independent Monitor for the Press (IMPRESS).

The Committee's short inquiry intends to investigate the current state of play for press regulation, following the publication of the Leveson report in 2012, the agreement of a Royal Charter on the self-regulation of the press and the closure of the Press Complaints Commission in September last year.

In the first session, at 3.30pm, the Committee will hear from Dr David Wolfe QC and Carolyn Regan, Chairman and Board Member respectively of the Press Recognition Council.

The witnesses are likely to face questions from the Committee on issues including:

  • how the Press Recognition Panel came into existence, why it was established and the role it plays;
  • how the panel will be funded on an ongoing basis, and its estimated running cost; and
  • how the panel will ensure that press regulators are independent of the press.

Following on, at 4.30pm, the Committee will have the opportunity to question Walter Merricks CBE, Chairman, and Jonathan Heawood, Director, both from IMPRESS.

Issues the witnesses are likely to be questioned on include:

  • why the IMPRESS Project was established and its main aims and objectives;
  • what steps are being taken to ensure that IMPRESS will be able to remain independent of the industry; and
  • why IMPRESS has not yet sought recognition under the Royal Charter and whether it plans to seek recognition.

The evidence session will be held on Tuesday 13 January 2015 at 3:30pm in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords.

The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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