Labour says judge rather Ofcom should oversee press regulator as Miliband softens stance


Labour leader Ed Miliband has rowed back on his initial call for the Leveson Report to be implemented in full as his party publishes a draft press regulation bill today.

It has called for a new regulator to be created overseen by the Lord Chief Justice, rather than Ofcom as Lord Justice Leveson proposed.

The moves comes as last week national editors agreed to sign up to all Leveson's recommendations on press regulation with the exception of statutory underpinning. The Conservatives are looking at ways for the body to have independent oversight guaranteeing its independence and effectiveness without resorting to law – which many see as a return to state licensing of newspapers for the first time in more than 300 years.

Under the Labour plans, a panel headed by the Lord Chief Justice would recognise a press regulatory body and determine every three years whether it is doing its job properly.

Shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman told the Guardian: "This gives clarity and certainty. Lord Justice Leveson said in his report that a legal guarantee to underpin self-regulation was essential and this draft Bill provides it." 

Priime Minister David Cameron has signalled his opposition towards statutory press regulation.

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