31 Oct 2013

Approved behind closed doors : curbs that end three centuries of Press freedom


‘A secretive committee of four ministers yesterday approved a Royal Charter to regulate the Press, provoking claims that politicians are undermining 300 years of freedom of speech.
The Privy Council, which advises the Queen, rubber-stamped the plans after newspapers lost two last ditch legal bids to halt the process.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg chaired a meeting at Buckingham Palace at which Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Culture Secretary Maria Miller and Liberal Democrat peer Lord McNally were also present.
The Queen was then obliged to grant the Royal Charter.
It grants politicians the right to meddle in Press regulation for the first time since the licensing of newspapers was abolished in 1695.’
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Queen sets seal on cross-party politicians' charter for press regulation


‘After a succession of last-gasp legal attempts by the newspaper industry to thwart the process, the Queen has given her approval to a government-backed royal charter governing the regulation of the press.
At a meeting of the Privy Council, the Queen set her seal on the document, which is backed by the three main political parties but is almost universally opposed by the publishers it is intended to oversee.
Hours earlier, senior newspaper representatives had gone to the High Court to seek an injunction to stop the Privy Council hearing, claiming that the industry’s own version of a reform charter had been unfairly rejected.’
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