Newspaper groups reject state regulation and create rival charter

Five leading newspaper groups, including the previously standalone Express Newspapers, have rejected the Government's all-party plans for press regulation unpinned by statute, and launched their own "Royal Charter for independent self-regulation of the press".

News International, Telegraph Media Group, Associated Newspapers, Trinity Mirror and, in a rare show of unity, Richard Desmond’s Express Newspapers have all signed up to the alternative Royal Charter.

The  charter also has the backing of the newspaper and magazine trade bodies – the Newspaper Society, Newspaper Publishers Association and PPA.

In a move that continues the ongoing fall-out of News of the World’s phone hacking scandal and recommendations made by Lord Justice Leveson, the press contingent insists their charter will "offer real protection for the public".

In a joint statement yesterday, the publishers warn the Government’s regulator plans give politicians "an unacceptable degree of interference in the regulation of the press", and a series of press ads today addressed to "party leaders" detail their own plans to ensure Britain remains the "home of free speech".

Newspaper groups reject state regulation and create rival charter

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