Labour denounces ‘shabby’ Tory press plan
A political face-off between the two dominant clans in British politics has stepped up a gear after Labour’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman, issued a stinging rebuke of her arch rivals press reform plan.
The Conservatives are seeking to create a new press regulator backed by Royal Statute, a process labour referred to as a ‘shabby deal’ which would fail in its ambition to raise media standards.
Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats are calling for a full press law to underpin any new regulator by statute but this has been resisted by the Prime Minister who believes such a move would undermine freedom of the press.
Speaking in the Commons Harman said of ongoing cross-party talks to bridge the impasse: “We will be reasonable on this but we will be robust. The most straightforward way of implementing Leveson is by statute. Whatever route is chosen, it must be the full Leveson not Leveson lite."
The Royal Charter proposals as they stand would give the press a say in the appointment process for their regulator, potentially undermining its independence in the minds of some, notably labour MP Chris Bryant who likened it to a ‘shabby deal’.