The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats have agreed on draft proposals on press regulation, ending months of negotiations.
The announcement follows the Privy Council’s recent rejection of an alternative charter proposal from the press industry and follows months of disagreement over how to implement the recommendations of the Leveson report.
The Industry Steering Group, which comprises the Newspaper Society, Newspaper Publishers Associations, Professional Publishers Association and the Scottish Newspaper Society, said they would examine the proposals closely.
A statement said: “However, this remains a Charter written by politicians, imposed by politicians and controlled by politicians. It has not been approved by any of the newspapers or magazines it seeks to regulate.
“Meanwhile, the industry’s Charter was rejected by eight politicians, meeting in secret, and chaired by the same politician who is promoting the politicians’ Charter.”
Included in the draft’s proposals is a small charge for arbitration as an alternative libel courts, an opt-out for local and regional newspapers and more involvement in decision making for the press and media industry.
Professor Brian Cathcart, executive director of Hacked Off, said: “We note that in the last-minute technical changes to the charter there have been further concessions to the press industry lobby, notably that it now permits an administrative charge for members of the public to use the new arbitration service.
“This is not what Lord Justice Leveson recommended and may well deter some members of the public from seeking redress when they have been wronged by news publishers.
He added: “We trust that those newspaper organisations which have been demanding this change - notably the local and regional press - will now accept that they have no reason to object to the system and will fully embrace the Charter process.”
Politicians and commentators took to Twitter following the announcement to express their views
A free press was one of the things that distinguished us from authoritarian regimes. Now we abandon it without a shot being fired in anger.— Daniel Hannan (@DanHannanMEP) October 11, 2013
It seems we really are Her Majesty's Press now— Nick Cohen (@NickCohen4) October 11, 2013
In line with the new royal charter, if you want to complain about this tweet, there will be a small administration fee.— Carl Maxim (@carlmaxim) October 11, 2013
Unusual to see politicians lying in quite such bold-faced terms in the Commons, but this press regulation charter is deeply dishonest.— Mr Eugenides (@Mr_Eugenides) October 11, 2013
Journos: please stop banging on about press regulation as if it's some sort of crime against humanity. It's not. And your readers don't care— Nick Laitner (@nicklaitner) October 11, 2013
The ball is now in the press's court. Everyone knows the PCC was worse than useless and the public wants reform. So stop hyperventilating.— Chris Bryant (@ChrisBryantMP) October 11, 2013