SCOTTISH ministers rejected radical plans to regulate the press in Scotland because they were afraid of the media backlash, a member of the panel which proposed them said yesterday.

Journalist Ruth Wishart, who sat on the review panel alongside retired judge Lord McCluskey, told The Scotsman conference on Scottish media that the critical reaction to their proposals had doomed them.

Last month, the McCluskey panel recommended that Scotland’s press should be subjected to statutory controls underpinned by law.

Ms Wishart yesterday said that she had been “gobsmacked” by the criticism that the report received from sections of the press, saying it had called specifically for the press itself to propose an independent body to regulate its activities.