The Press Complaints Commission has come out fighting after a day of fierce criticism – insisting that ‘our work will go on”.
The statement came after Prime Minister David Cameron this morning called for the watchdog to be scrapped and the opposition leader Ed Miliband called it a ‘toothless poodle”.
In a defiant statement released this afternoon the PCC said the Government could not ‘simply order the replacement of the PCC, because it is an independent organisation”.
The watchdog claimed that while it accepted the need for reform, it’s ‘highly important work must still go on, in order that our service to the public (to obtain redress both before and after publication) can continue”.
It added: ‘Those who are calling for the end of the PCC have undervalued and underestimated its day-to-day work.”
In a press conference earlier today Cameron said that ‘the way the press is regulated today is not working’– and described the PCC as ‘ineffective and lacking in rigour”.
He called for an entirely new system of press regulation to be put in a place following a public inquiry into press behaviour and ethics.
It came on the same day that Labour leader Ed Miliband claimed it was ‘time to put it [the PCC] out of its misery’and Deputy Leader Nick Clegg branded it a ‘busted flush”.
Today’s statement from the PCC continued: ‘While we hear the clearly-stated views of Members of Parliament, we call upon them to confirm that – pending the final outcome of both inquiries – the vital work of the PCC must be allowed to continue for the public good.
‘Members of the public will still come to us for help, and our staff will offer it to them. Intrusions will be prevented and inaccuracies corrected.
‘Newspapers and magazines will still be held to account by the Commission. We are pleased that all sectors of the industry (national, regional and magazines) have pledged their renewed commitment to adhere to the Code enforced independently by the PCC. Our work will go on.”
The PCC has been heavily criticised for its failure to either identify or clamp down on phone hacking at the News of the World