David Cameron is reportedly preparing himself to reject statutory regulation of the press – even if it is strongly recommended in Lord Justice Leveson’s imminent report.
According to The Times ministers are believed to be drawing up plans to improve self-regulation of the press by barring serving editors from adjudicating over complaints.
This would see the existing Press Complaints Commission beefed up to reassure the public that it was truly independent.
Such a move would broadly align with proposals from Lord Black who has proposed that newspaper groups sign contracts agreeing to cooperate with a regulator comprising both editors and a majority of lay members.
It follows the issue of a 116 page letter, described as a “diatribe” by one editor, and repeated reference by Leveson to “statutory underpinning” during his deliberations.
Any new statute would be fiercely opposed by Ministers who believe it could undermine the principle of free speech