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Simon Jenkins states press Royal Charter ‘may not last the month’

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By John Glenday, Reporter

March 22, 2013 | 2 min read

Simon Jenkins, one of three advisers tasked with implementing a new press regulatory regime, has said that he reckons the planned Royal Charter may not ‘last the month’ after conceding that he is yet to meet his fellow advisers and may never do so.

Speaking to BBC Radio 3 Jenkins said: “Were there to be a British constitution which says ‘you shall not infringe the freedom of the press’, it is now being infringed incontrovertibly. We have statutory regulation of the press of the most crass and detailed form. I have to say I’m not even sure it will last the month.

“We haven’t even met and we may not.”

His voice joins a growing chorus of criticism of the planned regulator the most recent of which emanated from The Economist which bemoaned the ‘shameful hash’ of Leveson made by politicians.

In its leader the current affairs mag went on to claim that the plans ‘raised the spectre of state regulation’ and said, it will not sign up to the new regulator: "For us, the choice is clear: we believe society gains more from a free press than it loses from the tabloids’ occasional abuse of defenceless people.

“To oppose this proposal is not to deny that much has gone wrong, Yet virtually all Fleet Street’s worst abuses can be dealt with under existing law. Thanks to the scandals of the past few years, that law is now being enforced, and some 60 journalists face charges.

“Fleet Street does not have an impeccable record. It has broken the law and victimised innocent people. But it has also, time and again, exposed the lies and incompetence of politicians."

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