Standoff on Royal Charter press regulation could be close to 'breakthrough'

The standoff between the government and press on regulation could be moving towards a “breakthrough” following comments made by culture secretary Maria Miller on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

Comments: Culture secretary Maria Miller

Miller told the BBC that the most important thing to happen next was for the press to “go forward with their own self-regulatory body and to establish that”.

She added: “Self-regulation has to be that. It has to be determined by the industry. The industry are setting up their own self-regulatory body.

“Really, the only role of the government in this was to oversee the traffic of the Royal Charter being put in place, which is a set of principles that will guide that. It is for the industry now to set up that self-regulatory body.

“There are opportunities for the press to be able to be recognised and I would encourage them to look at that because it does mean they can get the sort of incentives… around costs and exemplary damages.”

The Royal Charter was passed by the Privy Council earlier this week but continues to face staunch opposition from much of the press industry.

Following Miller’s comments, Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands told the Marr programme: “It sounds to me as if we are getting to a breakthrough.”

The comments came on the same day that The Observer confirmed it would not sign up to the Royal Charter and said the industry’s own proposed regulatory body, Ipso, was closer to the system that Sir Brian Leveson intended following the Leveson inquiry into press ethics.

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