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Labour outlines press plan

Labour outlines press plan

Labour has unveiled its vision for press reform today by publishing a draft bill that would see the Lord Chief Justice certify an independent regulator every three years.

The bill, which was discussed with Nick Clegg and several Tory MPs who favour statutory underpinning of regulation, sets out a six-point plan to overhaul the current system.

But government sources have dismissed the plan as "a series of top lines" which would not stand up to scrutiny in Parliament.

The only departure from the Leveson proposals is a plan to give senior judges, rather than Ofcom, the job of overseeing the new press regulator.

Former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, who was the legal adviser on the draft bill, said Labour were "determined" that the new system of reguation "does not involve any state body directly regulating the media". 

Shadow Culture Secretary Harriet Harman this afternoon defended the proposals, insisting the plan would offer a "legal guarantee" that the press would not "slip back".

"They would not be dealing with any complaints about the press. That’s not what they’d be doing. They wouldn’t monitor the body," she told the BBC's Daily Politics.

At a lobby lunch this afternoon, the Prime Minister warned that drafting a law for the media with statutory underpinning could risk the Government creating a press bill. The Prime Minister said a press bill should be avoided, but he added that Lord Leveson's proposals "are pretty good".

Green Box: Labour outlines press planClick to open

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