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MPs back new press law
11:00am Wednesday 20th March 2013 in News
THE new press law aimed at regulating the media in Britain has been backed by both Warrington MPs.
Warrington South Conservative MP David Mowat, and Warrington North Labour MP Helen Jones have voiced support for the Royal Charter.
It has been introduced following the Leveson Inquiry into newspaper practice.
Mr Mowat said he was ‘persuaded’ to vote in favour, and called the move a ‘messy compromise’.
He said: “Whatever it’s imperfections, and the tabloid culture, there is room within the constitution for a free press.
“The final version isn’t very controversial.
“Is this self regulation? No, because that failed.
“No one thinks the Press Complaints Commission was successful.
“We are trying to do a self regulation model, but it was felt the press needed help with regulation.
“What happened with Milly Dowler was completely unacceptable in a civilised society but you have to make sure the response is proportionate, and I think we have got as close we can to do that.
“I very much hope there’s nothing in this that will stop people from writing honest articles that they believe in like the MPs expenses scandal.
“It would be terrible if that happened.”
How the media is regulated has sparked debate since the phone hacking scandal was uncovered.
Earlier this week Prime Minister David Cameron backed down in a dispute with other party leaders, agreeing to the formation of the Royal Charter.
It means a press regulator will be formed that can force newspapers into front page apologies and fines of up to £1m.
The move is backed by victims and the Hacked Off campaign group.
Newspaper groups say it threatens a free press and investigative journalism.
Mrs Jones said she is also in support of imposing the first ever statute on the press.
“I believe that the decisions we have taken uphold the right of the press to investigate fearlessly but they will end the abuse of innocent victims like the McCanns and the Dowler family who were not public figures but who were subject to the most appalling abuse by some newspapers,” she said.