Impress has won funding of £3m from Max Mosley’s family charity that will sustain the alternative press regulator until at least 2022.
Documents published yesterday show the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust is continuing to bankroll the watchdog, which is still reliant on former motorsport boss Mosley to fund its work.
He first agreed to fund Impress to the tune of £3.8m over four years after striking an agreement in 2015. The funds are given to Impress indirectly, through charity the Independent Press Regulation Trust.
Mosley has been a campaigner for privacy and press reform since 2008 when he won £60,000 in damages from the News of the World in a privacy dispute over its coverage of his involvement in a sex orgy.
He recently attempted to use data protection laws to gag newspapers from repeating these claims and his funding links to Impress.
The AMCT, of which Mosley is a trustee, will give £3m to the IPRT in bi-annual instalments of £500,000 to support an independent press regulator which it claims fulfils the recommendations set out by Lord Leveson.
The IPRT will pass on £2.85m in instalments by April 2022. The new agreement replaces that from 2015.
In a comment piece for Press Gazette written in 2016, Mosley said that “if necessary” his family’s support for Impress could continue until 2026.
The Press Recognition Panel, which was set up to recognise press regulators that meet criteria under the Royal Charter, has launched a call for information for its first cyclical review of Impress.
The Royal Charter requires the PRP to review approved regulators to ensure they continue to meet the recognition criteria. This is the first review of Impress, two years after it was set up.
Impress chief executive Jonathan Heawood said: ‘We’re grateful to all our members and donors for their commitment to Impress. With this renewed support, we can move into the next phase of our development.
“In the meantime, we look forward to hearing what our stakeholders have got to say in response to the PRP call for information. The news economy is changing every day and we expect to keep learning and growing too.”
Heawood told Press Gazette last month that Impress “wouldn’t be here” without funding from Mosley.
He added that Mosley had been “remarkably hands off” and claimed there is “no particular benefit” to his family from its support for the regulator.
The AMCT is named after Mosley’s eldest son who died of a suspected heroin overdose in 2009.
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