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The Drum

Leveson Inquiry: PCC may set up new standards and compliance arm

The editor of the Mail on Sunday, Peter Wright, has indicated that the Press Complaints Commission is exploring setting up a new standards and compliance arm.

Wright, who sits on the PCC, was giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry when he revealed that he also sits on the PCC’s “reform committee”.

Wright told the inquiry that the new body should have powers to call editors to give evidence “and if necessary impose sanctions if editors refuse to cooperate or give false evidence” and to also impose sanctions where publications break the rules, with proposals to make membership of the PCC ‘contractual’. He said there is ‘strong inklings' that all the major publishers will sign up to a reformed PCC , although he did not know how ‘maverick’ titles such as Private Eye could be convinced to sign up to a system of self-regulation.

Press Gazette said: “[Lord Justice] Leveson challenged Wright about why the PCC refused to deal with complaints from people who were also suing newspapers.

“Wright was unable to explain why journalism should be different from other areas such as the law or medicine in this regard.”