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Press regulator Ipso to launch on 8 September

Press regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) will launch on 8 September, chairman Sir Alan Moses has told publishers.

A statement on the Newspaper Society website revealed that Moses had notified publishers of the launch date by letter, and urged them to make sure they had a practical complaints system in place before the launch.

“Sir Alan Moses, chairman of the Independent Press Standards Organisation, has written to publishers to confirm that Ipso will be launched on 8 September,” the statement said.

“From that date, complainants to Ipso who raise substantive concerns under the Editors’ Code will be referred directly to publications to resolve their complaints, so he stressed the need for publishers to have effective complaints-handling systems in place.

“He said Ipso would provide a form of open and accessible regulation for the benefit of the public and the press. As an independent regulator, Ipso was committed to maintaining a free and independent press and building public trust in its work.”

Most of the UK’s national newspapers have signed up to Ipso, which will replace the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) when it launches. Ipso does not recognise the government’s Royal Charter legislation for regulation of the press and remains at loggerheads with the political sphere.

The Guardian and Independent newspapers are yet to decide whether or not to sign up, and the Financial Times has opted to create an internal system of press regulation.

In opposition, rival press regulator Impress is set to launch later this year, although so far it only has smaller local publishers on board.

In May, newly-appointed Ipso board member Charles McGhee told The Drum that Ipso had a “huge job” to do in regaining public trust but said the appointment of former Appeal Court judge Sir Alan Moses as its first chairman sent out a good signal.

Meanwhile, press reform campaign group Hacked Off has been heavily critical of Ipso and vowed to continue its push for change in the press industry. Last month, executive director Joan Smith said the organisation may begin targeting newspaper advertisers in a bid to increase pressure.

Responding to news of the launch, Smith added: "Ipso - created with no public consultation whatsoever - is clearly designed to defy the recommendation of the Leveson Inquiry on independence, the wishes of all parliamentary parties and the views of the overwhelming majority of the public.

"It is an insult to victims of press abuses, leaving in charge the same shadowy newspaper paymaster who called the shots at the discredited Press Complaints Commission during its worst years."

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