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Meyer poised for watchdog role

A diplomat is to take over as chairman of the Press Complaints Commission.

Sir Christopher Meyer, the British ambassador to Washington, will take on the role vacated by Lord Wakeham who stepped aside because of his involvement in the Enron scandal.

He will guide the PCC at a time when its role and relationship with newspapers is under close scrutiny, and is likely to step into the role next year.

Critics of the PCC believe it is too soft on newspapers and arbitrates between editors and complainants rather than getting tough with papers which break the rules. It presides over a self-regulation system but there have been calls for statutory controls.

Sir Christopher issued a statement through the PCC which said: “I am a strong believer in the self-regulation of the newspaper and magazine publishing industry.

“I look forward to taking on this challenging and exciting task next year.”

Sir Christopher, (58), is a former press secretary to John Major.

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