John Prescott to make UK history with resignation from Privy Council over press regulation
Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has resigned from the Privy Council in a dramatic protest over its role in the ongoing wrangle to implement press regulation following the Leveson Inquiry.Lord Prescott is stepping down over the “highly political” role the council has played in the press regulation debate amid concerns that lobbying from newspaper groups is diluting the government’s Royal Charter proposals on regulation.It’s understood to be the first time a member of the Privy Council has resigned on a point of principle and will make constitutional history.In his Sunday Mirror column, the Labour politician said: "The government dragged its feet in further consultation and the press industry put in its divided charter first. The rules and procedure, we are told, now mean it has to be considered first and consulted upon before parliament’s version, which is clearly a political decision by the government."However the PressBof [Press Board of Finance] Charter deals with regulation of an area of conduct already the subject of settled government and legislative policy. This Charter is in fact a challenge to establish government policy in which ministers attending the Privy Council cannot have an open mind."The process of examination and implementation of parliament’s version could last until January 2015. If it failed, then it would be referred back to parliament, four months before the next general election.""I believe this approach borders on a conspiracy to delay Press regulation," he continued. "Much worse, it will embroil the monarchy in a possible conflict with parliament and political division between the parties."
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The move comes despite warnings earlier in the week from Prime Minister David Cameron that the industry proposals have “serious shortcomings”.Cameron spoke after coming under increased pressure to explain the delays in implementing the Royal Charter proposals backed by the three main political parties, which is now unlikely to go before the Privy Council before September.— John Prescott (@johnprescott) July 6, 2013
Resignation: Lord Prescott is stepping down from the Privy Council