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Hacked Off slams decision to appoint ex-political editor of The Sun to the IPSO board

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By Jessica Goodfellow, Media Reporter

December 21, 2015 | 2 min read

Hacked Off, a campaign group for ‘free and accountable press’, has condemned the appointment of the former political editor of The Sun Trevor Kavanagh to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).

The campaign group said the decision, which was announced on Friday (18 December), shows the press watchdog has “abandoned even the pretence of independence”. The criticism stems from Kavanagh’s tenure as the political editor of The Sun between 1983 and 2006 and until he was later appointed chief leader writer until 2008.

In their press release announcing the appointment of Kavanagh, IPSO claims he “brings decades of knowledge of the industry” from his time with The Sun.

Hacked Off targets IPSO often, denouncing them as being a ‘sham body’ controlled by the very newspapers they regulate. With this in mind, the appointment of Kavanagh has only exacerbated these criticisms. At the one-year mark of IPSO on September 8th, the campaign group made strong claims that the organisation made no regulation, no arbitration, no investigations and no independent auditing.

As well as Kavanagh, IPSO also announced the appointment of Ruth Sawtell. Sawtell, a board member at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and at PhonepayPlus, has a “wealth of experience as a board member in regulatory bodies”, claimed the regulator.

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