FOLLOWING THE EXPOSURE of alleged criminal activity and growing complaints about the behaviour of the press in the UK in 2011, the Leveson Inquiry made a series of recommendations for a new, more effective regulatory system.

As a result, the Press Recognition Panel (PRP) was created by Royal Charter on 3 November 2014. Its purpose is to ensure that regulators of the press and other news publishers are independent, properly funded and able to protect the public, while recognising the important role carried out by the press and other news publishers.

The PRP has published its fifth annual report on the recognition system, in which it reports that due to ongoing Government interference, the system of press regulation intended to protect the public following the Leveson Inquiry is failing.

Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act, legislation which would provide an incentive for publishers to join or form an approved regulator, has still not been commenced.

David Wolfe QC, Chair of the Press Recognition Panel, said: “The Leveson Report made clear recommendations which would protect both the public and the public interest in freedom of speech. It proposed a genuinely independent and effective system of self-regulation, with processes in place to ensure that regulators meet the minimum required levels of independence and effectiveness.

“Section 40 has still not been commenced, and it is now clear the Government is unwilling to fulfil the promises made to those who participated in the Leveson Inquiry and give the public the protections that were agreed and that continue to be needed.

“Given that there continue to be concerns about press standards and a significant proportion of news publishers have not moved under a system of genuinely independent regulation, Parliament should now consider how to protect the public as was agreed following the Leveson Report.”

* Read the report here.

* Source: Press Recognition Panel