Director of PCC to leave at end of February
Stephen Abell, who has held the position of director of the Press Complaints Commission since December 2009, has announced that he will step down from his role at the end of February.
Abell is to join Pagefield communications consultancy as a partner, where he will take responsibility for media relations and crisis communication.
He said: "It has been a great privilege to work over the years with the committed, wonderful staff and board members of the PCC. I have been involved with the PCC for more than a decade, and I decided last year that it was time for a new challenge. First, I wanted to work with David Hunt in the development of positive proposals for a new structure of self-regulation. I believe we have now done that. I also wanted to give a full account of the work of the PCC to Lord Justice Leveson.
“I remain a firm supporter of enhanced self-regulation for the press, maintaining all that is good about the work of the PCC, and am confident that this will be achieved as a result of the Leveson Inquiry.”
The PCC has appointed Michael McManus as director of transition. He will continue the work on ongoing proposals for reformed, independent self-regulation of the press. McManus will be part of a new senior team at the PCC, including director of communications Jonathan Collett and Charlotte Dewar, who has been promoted to head of complaints and pre-publication services.
McManus said: "I am delighted to be joining the PCC at this crucial juncture in its existence. All my work in journalism and politics has convinced me that self-regulation of the press can and must be made to work. I relish the challenge of playing such a senior role in the urgent and crucially important task of creating a new, independent press regulator with real teeth."