Richard Desmond, proprietor of the Daily Express and Daily Star, has thrown a cat amongst the pigeons by threatening to launch a legal challenge against industry moves to force him to join a new system of tougher self-regulation – according to The Times.
The system has been foisted on Desmond by rival publishers who have all agreed to sign up the regime – but Desmond remains a hold out even though it could see his titles barred from receiving industry wide services, such as news from the Press Association.
According to reports in The Times however Desmond believes that any attempt to strong arm him into such an arrangement would be illegal under competition law.
The infighting comes at the worst possible moment for the industry which is currently poised between being allowed one last chance at self-regulation - or face a statutory solution.
Desmond withdrew from the current Press Complaints Commission last year after claiming that it was run by ‘people who hate our guts’.