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LONDON – Hacked Off, a not-for-profit group that has pushed for press-regulation reform using Hugh Grant as one of its public faces, on Monday welcomed an agreement among all British political parties to establish a new press regulator.
The agreement follows months of arguments after the publication of the Leveson Inquiry report that was ordered amid the phone-hacking scandal.
“We welcome the cross-party agreement on #Leveson & look forward to Parliament having its say this afternoon,” the organization’s Twitter account said mid-day Monday.
The deal comes in the form of a royal charter, as proposed by Conservative Party leader and prime minister David Cameron.
“#Leveson did not recommend Charter, & we feel that Charter is second best. But this Charter does deliver #Leveson’s recommendations,” Hacked Off tweeted.
But the organization also emphasized that the opposition Labour Party managed to get the charter tied to law, as it and Hacked Off had hoped for, even though the final set-up allows both sides to claim victory.
“There is a statutory underpin,” Hacked Off said. “It is minimal, but it stops future ministerial meddling to the Royal Charter. It is essential.”
The group did, however, acknowledge that it remains unclear whether newspaper publishers would agree to be subject to the new regulator’s decisions. “Questions remain over the incentives that get papers to join the new regulator,” its Twitter feed said.
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