View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Media Law
June 4, 2014

Labour shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman joins Sajid Javid in taking ‘step back’ from press regulation

By William Turvill

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman has joined Conservative Culture Secretary Sajid Javid in distancing herself from the issue of press regulation.

Javid said in April that he didn’t “see any further role for Government in this”.

And shadow culture secretary Harman (pictured, bottom left, Reuters), in an interview with Total Politics, has similarly said the time has arrived for politicians to “step back” from the debate.

It comes at a time when the Independent Press Standards Organisation has been backed by most major newspaper and magazine publishers, but not by the Financial Times, Guardian and Independent. It has also been derided by press victims group Hacked Off.

But Harman said: “[I]t’s not for any of us to say IPSO is a good thing or bad thing. We step back from the issue of who joins what regulator, or whether they join any regulator, we just say we need a system of recognition to be set up so they can open up for business and so a regulator can come forward and say ‘we could be recognised’.”

IPSO has said it has no plans to seek official recognition under the press regulation Royal Charter agreed in a cross-party deal.

Content from our partners
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution
Papermule: Workflow automation for publishers

In a wide-ranging interview, Harman also suggested alternatives to the BBC licence fee agreement should be considered in case a better option exists.

Harman also said she had written to Javid on the subject of the appointment of a new BBC Trust chairman. She told Total Politics: “It’s one of those appointments that needs to be done not on a party political basis, and therefore a big responsibility falls on him to act in the public interest, not in a partisan way, so we’ve written to him to urge him not to behave like that.”

Elsewhere, Harman questioned the success of the local TV scheme set up by the current Government. Former Labour culture secretary Ben Bradshaw told Press Gazette last year that his party had looked at the scheme but considered it a “non-starter”.

Harman said of local TV: “Well… and where is that precisely in terms of delivery, in terms of outcome?”

Asked whether she watches London Live, she said: “Well, we’ll see, good luck to London Live.”

She added: “However, London Live is not the entire country. Let’s see, but certainly in loads of areas it’s evident what has gone into but not very evident as to what has come out of it.

“I wish them well, those of them who are doing it, but you had to take a little while working out and trying to remember local TV.”

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network