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Liberty calls for scrapping of rival Royal Charters

Human rights campaign group has called for the scrapping of both rival Royal Charters on press regulation.

The group’s director Shami Chakrabarti told MPs the use of a Royal Charter to underpin the new system was “constitutionally inappropriate, undemocratic and opaque and in no way fit for this purpose.

Her comments came in a submission to the Culture Media and Sports committee of the Commons which is examining rival plans put forward by the government and the newpaper industry.

Instead the group said it backed a system of self-regulation backed up by the threat of exemplary damages for those who stay out.

In her submission, Ms Chakrabarti said it was not necessary to establish a new recognition body for the new regulator, as this function could be performed by the courts.

She added:  “This would remove the need for a Royal Charter and the bureaucratic and undemocratic contortions contained therein.”