Lords Vote on Amendments As Press Charter Unravelling

Blog OffHow bad is it for the Hacked Off drafted Royal Charter’s prospects?

  • Lebedev, the owner of The Indy, the only paper with an editor keen on the press control Royal Charter, has said it is a bad idea.
  • Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger is suggesting delaying it all for a year.
  • The Economist has joined the Speccie, Staggers and Private Eye in shunning the new system.
  • Most of the big newspaper groups are looking less and less likely to go along with things as they stand.
  • Editors of local papers are livid that they will be brought into this regulatory quango when they are already under financial pressure.
  • The former campaign manager for Hacked Off has disowned the campaign –  “I wanted reform that understood the press, but some of them wanted reform that punished the press. They became more militant, more politically aggressive and I felt uncomfortable with it.”
  • Lawyers say the exemplary damages provision is in breach of Article 10 of the ECHR.
  • Bloggers from across the spectrum have united against the ill thought provisions.
  • Hacked Off now say that blog regulation was never their intention.*
  • Over the weekend there were tri-party talks to try and figure out how to exempt blogs – which Leveson never intended to regulate.

Still the political class may still ram it through the Lords this afternoon…

Lord Lucas has a sensible amendment to exempt blogs and small publishing enterprises:

LORD LUCAS

131C  At end insert— “Other publishers

9) A publisher who focuses on a specific locality or region and only reports national issues on an incidental basis that is relevant to such local or regional matters.”

131D  At end insert—  10) A publisher who operates as a non-charitable campaigning organisation and is publishing material incidental to the organisation’s aims and objectives.”

131E At end insert—  11 ) A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium- sized enterprise as defined in sections 382 and 465 of the Companies Act 2006.”

Just because the amendments are sensible and widely supported doesn’t mean they will pass…

*Evan Harris told the Open Rights Group that he wanted to see Guido regulated. Can’t imagine why…




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Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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