IPSO board revealed including former Sun ombudsman Bill Newman and ex-Times editor Charles Wilson - Press Gazette

IPSO board revealed including former Sun ombudsman Bill Newman and ex-Times editor Charles Wilson

The 12-person board which will head up the Independent Press Standards Organisation has been revealed today and comprises five people with press industry backgrounds and seven figures from outside the industry.

This board will now appoint the 12-person complaints committee, which will adjudicate on complaints against publishers. The board must also take into account the views of publishers, as represented by the Regulatory Funding Company, when it makes its appointments.

It was announced last month that former Appeal Court judge Sir Alan Moses was to be the first chair of IPSO. He has worked with a five-person selection panel, which included press industry representatives John Witherow and Paul Horrocks, to appoint the board.

The board will have the power to launch investigations into newspapers and issue fines of up to £1m.

The industry representatives on the IPSO board are:

  • Magazines: Former Emap chief executive Kevin Hand who is deputy chairman of the PPA
  • Scottish newspapers: Former editor of The Herald, Charles McGhee
  • National tabloid newspapers: Former Sun managing editor William Newman, who retired in 2005 after a 36-year career with the paper (lastly as ombudsman).
  • National broadsheet newspapers: Former editor of The Times and Independent Charles Wilson
  • Regional newspapers: Former Leicester Mercury, Derby Telegraph and South Wales Echo editor Keith Perch.

The non press industry members of the IPSO board are:

  • Former director general of Saga group Ros Altmann
  • Chair of the general consumer council for Northern Ireland Rick Hill
  • Vice chairman for the council and court of the London School of Economics Anne Lapping
  • Former UK ambassador to Saudi Arabia Tom Phillips
  • Co founder of Innocent drinks Richard Reed
  • Chief executive of Hanover Housing Association Dame Clare Tickell.
  • IPSO chairman Sir Alan Moses.

The launch of IPSO has now been put back from June to September as the board sets about appointing a chief executive and a complaints committee.

A spokesman for IPSO said that the members of the new regulator will be named in due course on the IPSO website, along with contacts at each member publication who are intended to be the first port of call for complaints. 

All national newspaper publishers have signed up IPSO with the exception of the FT (which has said it will regulate itself in future) and Guardian News and Media and the Independent titles (which have yet to decide whether or not to join).

IPSO has also said it will consider “how best to create an arbitration service”. The creation of a libel-disputes arbitration arm was a key recommendation of the Leveson report which has been resisted by regional press publishers because they fear it will encourage more libel payouts.

Sir Alan Moses said: “I am delighted to have the chance to work with such a talented group of independent-minded people, committed to provide rigorous and strong  regulation. Now we must start our work of preparation. We plan to use the coming period to listen and engage with the public, experts and the industry before IPSO’s formal launch in September. This will be a new era of self regulation of our newspapers, ready to provide the independent regulation to which the public is entitled.”

Director of campaign group Hacked Off Brian Cathcart said: 

The big newspaper companies have spent two years carefully designing IPSO to serve their own interests before those of the public – just like the discredited PCC did before it  – and these board members are powerless to change that even if they want to.

If IPSO really wants the trust of the public there is a simple test it can take to show whether it is independent and effective: it can seek recognition under the Royal Charter. That is the test recommended by Leveson, endorsed by every party in Parliament and backed by victims of press abuses, hundreds of prominent people in the world of free expression – and the overwhelming majority of the public.

Unfortunately, at the moment IPSO can’t pass that test because its rules and procedures are designed, not to give the public a good service and uphold press standards as Leveson urged, but to unsure the big papers can continue to distort, intrude and bully with impunity. Ordinary people in their thousands will be the victims of this.

IPSO is not new, not independent and not effective. It is the PCC all over again. Twenty-five years ago the big press companies were told they were drinking in the last chance saloon. Despite phone-hacking, mass theft of personal information, serial libel and relentless bullying and dishonesty from those same companies, they are still drinking. Only now the saloon is called IPSO.

If the IPSO Board members are under their impression that they can reform it, they should check the paperwork: the flaws in IPSO are hard-wired into its articles and regulations and can only be changed with the direct approval of the big newspaper groups themselves.”

Executive director of the Society of Editors Bob Satchwell said: 

The independent appointment panel has succeeded in selecting a list of impressive individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. We should be grateful that they volunteered for the important task of leading the powerful new body under the chairmanship of Sir Alan Moses that will help maintain high standards in the Press. Their qualifications and independence are clear. IPSO can now go forward to earn the confidence of the public, remembering the importance of a vigorous free press that is a vital component of any democratic society."  

Biographies of the new board members (source: IPSO)

Ros Altmann

Ros Altmann is an independent expert on pensions policy, a frequent media commentator on pensions issues, a renowned consumer champion and former Director General of the Saga Group.  She is a Non-Executive Director of Trafalgar House Pension Trust and the Investment Board for the Official Solicitor and Office of the Accountant General.  An economist by training, she was a Non-Executive Director of LSE for six years, and is a Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute, on the Advisory Board of the International Longevity Centre ILC-UK and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Kevin Hand

Kevin Hand is currently Vice President of EMMA, the European Magazine Marketing Association and Deputy Chair of the Professional Publisher Association, having previously acted as Chair. During his executive career Kevin served as a director of Emap for ten years, the last three of which were as the Chief Executive. In addition to his non executive work, Kevin also acts as a consultant to media companies.

Rick Hill

Rick Hill is Chair of the General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. He has previously been Chair of Northern Ireland Screen Commission, Chair of Consumer Focus Post and member of the Consumer Focus UK Board, a member of the BBC Audience Council for Northern Ireland and BBC Broadcasting Council for Northern Ireland. He is the former Minister of Garnerville Presbyterian Church, Belfast.

Rick is now the owner and Director of Titanic Gap Media Consultancy, working with independent TV and Film production companies.

Anne Lapping

Anne Lapping is Vice Chairman of the Council and Court of the London School of Economics.  She began her career as a reporter working for New Society and the Economist, before jointly founding the TV production company Brook Productions.  Anne is a Trustee of openDemocracy, Chair of the Management Board of Polis, and a former Non-Executive Director of Channel 4, the Scott Trust and Central and Northwest London Mental Health NHS Trust.

Charles McGhee

Charles McGhee, the former editor of The Herald in Glasgow, is an Honorary Professor in Journalism and Media at Glasgow Caledonian University. Charles is a former member of the Press Complaints Commission and President of the UK Society of Editors and served on the Scotland board of Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres.

William Newman

William Newman is a former Managing Editor of The Sun, he previously worked with a number of newspapers including The Guardian, Sunday Times and Observer. William was a member of the International Organisation of News Ombudsmen, and he is currently a trustee and former Chairman of the Journalists’ Charity.

Keith Perch

Keith Perch has almost 30 years experience working in regional newspapers.  He is the former editor of the Leicester Mercury, the Derby Telegraph and the South Wales Echo, Cardiff. He also worked for the Grimsby Telegraph, the Hull Daily Mail and the Birmingham Post and Mail.  Keith is currently a senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Derby and a media consultant.

 Tom Phillips

Sir Tom Phillips is former UK Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  He previously spent thirty years with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in a wide range of senior roles, including as British Ambassador to Israel and the UK’s Special Representative in Afghanistan.  He is Senior Adviser to GPW Ltd and a Member of the Wilton Park Advisory Council.  Sir Tom Phillips’ appointment is subject to clearance through the Government’s Business Appointments Rules process, which applies to former Crown servants who intend to take up an outside appointment or employment after leaving the Civil Service.

Richard Reed

Richard Reed is the co-founder of Innocent, the No.1 smoothie brand. Richard currently runs, JamJar Investments, supporting entrepreneurs to build successful businesses he the co-founder of Art Everywhere and a patron of Peace One Day.

Clare Tickell

Dame Clare Tickell is Chief Executive of Hanover Housing Association, she was previously Chief Executive of Action for Children. Clare has held numerous non-executive and advisory positions throughout her career including chairing the Help the Hospices Commission into the Future of End of Life Care, and was a member of the RSA 2020 Commission into Public Services.

Charles Wilson

Charles Wilson is the former managing director, of the Mirror Group Newspapers plc. Prior to this role he edited a number of newspapers including The Times, Independent, the Scottish Sunday Standard, Glasgow Herald and the Chicago Sun Times. His recent non-executive appointments include board member of the Youth Justice Board, NED of the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and Vice Chairman of Addaction.



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Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette


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