'Compromise clause’ allows press regulation deal to be struck
The basis for an agreement between Britain’s three main political parties on the future of press regulation has been hammered out after consensus was reached on the need to ensure that the Royal Charter used to underpin it cannot be easily meddled with by politicians.
As such a so-called ‘super majority’ comprising two thirds of parliament must now be attained before changes can be made, after the Liberal Democrats watered down their demands for a full legal underpinning of any royal charter.
This so called ‘compromise clause’ constitutes a ‘small piece of legislation’ which expressly states that the rules governing the royal charter cannot be tampered without mentioning the charter explicitly.
Labour and the Lib Dems claim that this means they have secured the legislation they called for but the Conservatives say no legislation is directly linked to the press.
Britain’s existing authority, the Press Complaints Commission, has agreed to move into a ‘transitional’ phase until its long-term successor is established which would be given substantial new powers to impose higher fines (up to £1m) and an investigative arms to look at serious wrongdoing.