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Press regulation: Lords to investigate further developments

In a short series of evidence sessions, the House of Lords Communications Committee will question press regulation bodies created after the Leveson Inquiry beginning on Tuesday 6 December, as well as other interested parties.

In 2015 the Communications Committee launched an inquiry to establish where things stood with regard to press regulation in the wake of the Leveson report. This report recommended significant reforms, which resulted in the creation of the Royal Charter, the Press Recognition Panel, and self-regulatory bodies IMPRESS and IPSO.

There have been notable developments since then, including most recently the launch of a consultation on whether the Government should put into force a legislation which would affect legal costs in certain media cases. The Committee seeks to examine the effectiveness of the regulatory bodies, and to investigate the extent to which they restrict the freedom of the press.

At 3:30pm the Committee will hear from Ashley Highfield, Chairman, News Media Association, an industry organisation which aims to promote the interests of news media publishers. He will discuss, among other things, the Government's consultation on section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013.

At 4.00pm the Committee will hear from Sir Alan Moses, Chairman, IPSO.

He will be questioned on:

  • Whether the refusal by some newspapers to sign up to IPSO has affected its credibility as a regulator, and how this situation can be resolved.
  • Whether the current regulatory system allows for a satisfactory system of redress for complainants.

At 4.30pm the Committee will question Dr David Wolfe QC, Chair, Press Recognition Panel. The Panel is responsible for assessing whether a regulator, which is put forward for recognition, meets specified standards. He will be questioned on the future of the panel and its effectiveness.

At 5.00pm the Committee will hear from Dr Evan Harris, Joint Executive Director, and Hugh Tomlinson QC, Chair, Hacked Off. They will likely face questioning on whether the new system of press regulation has improved the situation for those seeking redress from newspapers.

The Committee will start its evidence session at 3.15pm on Tuesday 6 December in the House of Lords Committee Room 3.

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