Free Press

U.K. Newspaper Editors Surrender to Major Regulatory Demands

But they want a chance at capturing their new overseers


Fleet Street editors today held an unusual breakfast meeting at the Delaunay restaurant, in central London, where they agreed to accept virtually all Lord Justice Leveson's proposals for creating an independent self-regulatory body for the press.

But while they ticked off their support for almost all 47 of the recommendations, there remain several obstacles to be overcome if the newspaper industry is to persuade politicians a new press law is unnecessary.

The editors agreed to a new regulatory system that would have powers to impose fines of up to £1m and the introduction of an arbitration service that would reduce the legal cost of libel actions. But the summit rejected the notion that the standards code of the new system should be taken out of the hands of editors. They felt strongly that the code should be drafted by practitioners, not lay people.