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Regional press ‘will not sign up’ to Royal Charter

Regional newspapers will not sign up to the cross-party Royal Charter on press regulation, Labour leader Ed Miliband has been told.

Newspaper Society president Adrian Jeakings said the regional press would not back the charter, which was given the Royal seal of approval yesterday despite a last ditch bid by publishers to block it.

Speaking at the Newspaper Conference annual lunch, Adrian told the Labour leader that the industry would be appealing against yesterday’s High Court decision not to grant a judicial review of the rejection of their own plans for a new regulator.

Industry bodies sought an emergency injunction yesterday in a bid to stop the Royal Charter on press regulation being approved by the Privy Council but the legal bid was turned down by High Court judges.

Adrian told those at the lunch event today that the industry would push forwards with its own plans for a new system of regulation, which would be called the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

He said: “We firmly believe that, by establishing a tough new self regulatory scheme under the Independent Press Standards Organisation together with other news and magazine publishers from across the press, we can guarantee the public the protection it deserves whilst ensuring that the press remains truly free, and unfettered by political interference.

“The regional and local press – in common with newspapers and magazines across the UK – will not be signing up to the cross-party Royal Charter sealed yesterday.

“It was devised by politicians and a special interest lobby group and imposed on an unwilling industry. 

“And in case anyone is in any doubt we will be appealing yesterday’s decision not to grant a judicial review.”

The lunch was chaired by Jon Walker, political editor for Trinity Mirror in the West Midlands and North East, and attended by regional press editors, political editors, publishers and other senior industry figures.

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