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World publishers to send ‘press freedom mission’ to UK

An international forum of newspaper publishers will send a “press freedom mission” to the UK because of concerns about the cross-party Royal Charter on press regulation.

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) will lead the international delegation to the UK in January over “continued attacks on press freedoms in the country”.

WAN-IFRA has previously conducted press freedom missions to countries including Ethiopia, South Africa, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Mexico and Ecuador but this is the first such mission to Britain.

Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of WAN-IFRA, said: “A press freedom mission to the United Kingdom is unprecedented and we cannot underestimate our concern for what is happening.

“It is rather difficult for the United Kingdom to lecture Sri Lanka and others about their press freedom record, when its own actions result in such widespread international condemnation.”

The delegation of editors from five continents will arrive in London in January in response to the government’s involvement in press regulation through the Royal Charter and will also discuss criticisms of The Guardian for its coverage of revelations from former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.