Nick Davies and David Yelland join forces to call for publishers to back press regulation Royal Charter - Press Gazette

Nick Davies and David Yelland join forces to call for publishers to back press regulation Royal Charter

Investigative journalist Nick Davies and former Sun editor David Yelland have joined forces to call for publishers to sign up to the Government’s preferred system of press regulation.

More than 100 prominent figures from various fields, as well as many victims of press intrusion and mistakes, today declared their support for the Royal Charter on press regulation.

Most publishers have indicated that they favour the Independent Press Standards Organisation. It does not comply with the all-party Royal Charter on press regulation because it is not independent from publishers and owners and does not include a compulsory libel disputes arbitration service.

Publishers say they object to a system of regulation devised by the Government and fear that future politicians could use it control the press.

Delivering a lecture in London today Yelland will argue against IPSO saying: “Those in the industry need to realise that they can't simply set up a system that has many of the flaws of the old one, run by the same people that ran the old one.

"One year on from publication of the Leveson report it looks as though the public may soon be worse off than they were before the whole inquiry started.

"This is not just because Ipso is not up to snuff; it is because the key means of access to legal redress in media cases is about to disappear next year – as conditional fee arrangements (CFAs) or no-win no-fees are going, probably by April."

He will also say: “It may be that the current editors accept a chink of light into the debate, a little chink of humility.If they were to do that and Ipso was updated to come closer to the Leveson plan then maybe, just maybe, a solution could be found.

"It would be intolerable if this time next year, on the second anniversary of Leveson, the public was still worse off than it was before this entire mess started."

Others signing today’s declaration include writer Salman Rushdie, journalist Polly Toynbee and actor Stephen Fry.

The declaration, which has been co-ordinated by campaign group Hacked Off, states:

We believe that a free press is a cornerstone of democracy. It should be fearless in exposing corruption, holding the powerful to account and championing the powerless. It has nothing to lose, and can only be enhanced, by acknowledging unethical practice in its midst and acting firmly to ensure it is not repeated.

We also believe that editors and journalists will rise in public esteem when they accept a form of self-regulation that is independently audited on the lines recommended by Lord Justice Leveson and laid down in the Royal Charter of 30 October 2013. 

It is our view that this Charter safeguards the press from political interference while also giving vital protection to the vulnerable. That is why we support it and that is why we urge newspaper publishers to embrace it.”

Signatories to the declaration include:

  • Margaret Aspinall – Hillsborough family press victim
  • Bryan Adams – Musician
  • Riz Ahmed – Actor and musician
  • Monica Ali – Writer
  • Yasmin Alibhai-Brown – Journalist and author
  • Lisa Appignanesi – Author
  • Michael Apted – Film director
  • Neal Ascherson – Journalist and author
  • Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE – Playwright
  • Clare Balding OBE – Broadcaster
  • Antony Beevor – Writer
  • Helen Belcher – Transmediawatch
  • Alan Bennett – Writer
  • Sophie Bennett – Acting Director, UK Feminista
  • Patricia Bernal – Mother of murder victim and press victim
  • Anthony Bernal – Brother of murder victim and press victim
  • Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC – Human Rights Lawyer
  • John Bishop – Comedian
  • Prof Colin Blakemore – scientist and broadcaster
  • James Blunt – Musician
  • John Bowers QC – Employment silk
  • William Boyd – Writer
  • Rory Bremner FKC – impressionist, playwright and comedian
  • Marcus Brigstocke – Comedian
  • Peter Burden – Media Author
  • Guy Chambers – Record Producer
  • John Cleese – Comedian & Python
  • Dr Madeleine Coy – Deputy Director, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University
  • Prof James Curran – Professor of Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Paul Dadge – 7/7 first responder and press victim
  • Stephen Daldry – Producer and director
  • Nick Davies – Investigative journalist, writer and documentary maker
  • Professor Richard Dawkins – Scientist and Writer
  • Helen Fielding – Author
  • Bill Forsyth – Film Maker
  • Prof Suzanne Franks – Professor of Journalism, City University
  • Michael Frayn – Author, playwright
  • Stephen Frears – Film director
  • Prof Chris Frost – Professor of Journalism, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Stephen Fry – Broadcaster & Writer
  • Prof. Conor Gearty – Professor of Law, LSE
  • Mo George – Actor and press victim
  • Terry Gilliam – Film Maker & python
  • Susana Giner – Director, Youth Media Agency
  • Roger Graef – Documentary-maker
  • A C Grayling – Author
  • Sarah Green – Campaigns Manager, End Violence Against Women Coalition,
  • Lee Hall – Writer
  • Jacqui Hames – Former police officer and Crimewatch presenter and press victim
  • Sir David Hare – Playwright
  • Prof Ian Hargreaves – Professor of Digital Economy, Cardiff University
  • Katie Hickman – Writer
  • Alan Hollinghurst – Writer
  • Baroness Sheila Hollins – Mother of Abigail Witchells & victim of press
  • Richard Horton – Nightjack' Blogger
  • Rufus Hound – Comedian
  • Sir Nick Hytner – Theatre Director
  • Karen Ingala Smith – Chief Executive of domestic and sexual violence charity
  • Christopher Jefferies – victim of press abuse
  • Terry Jones – Comedian, film-maker & Python
  • Baroness Helena Kennedy QC – Human Rights Barrister
  • Nicolas Kent – Theatre director
  • Imran Khan – Solicitor
  • Baroness Beeban Kidron – Film Director
  • Peter Kosminsky – Film director
  • Mike Leigh – Writer and Director
  • Robert Llewellyn – Actor, presenter and novelist
  • Gary Lineker – Broadcaster
  • Prof Joni Lovenduski – Professor of Politics, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Angus Macqueen – Documentary-maker
  • Krish Majumdar – Documentary-maker
  • Michael Mansfield QC – Human Rights Lawyer
  • Zoe Margolis – Author – victim of press
  • Prof Kevin Marsh – ex-broadcaster
  • Gerry & Kate McCann – Victims of press abuse
  • Ian McEwan – Author
  • Prof Maire Messenger Davies – Professor of Media Studies, University of Ulster
  • Sir Jonathan Miller – Author, director, doctor, polymath
  • Julian Mitchell – Playwright
  • Peter Morgan – Film-writer and Playwright
  • Baroness Onora O'Neill – Philosopher
  • Lord Brian Paddick – Ex-police officer and press victim
  • Sir Alan Parker – Film Maker
  • Prof Julian Petley – Chair, Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom,
  • Professor Gavin Phillpson – Durham Law School, Durham University
  • Guy Ritchie – Film Director
  • Sue Roberts – Hillsborough families press victim
  • JK Rowling – Author
  • Salman Rushdie – Author
  • Willy Russell – Playwright
  • Prof Jean Seaton – Professor of Media History, University of Westminster
  • Stephen Sedley – retired Court of Appeal -Judge
  • Sir Tom Stoppard – writer
  • Peter Tatchell – Human Rights Campaigner
  • Terrence Tehranian – Media entreprenuer
  • Emma Thompson – Screenwriter and actress
  • Claire Tomalin – Author
  • Polly Toynbee – Journalist
  • Prof John Tulloch – 7/7 survivor and press victim
  • Anna Van Heeswijk – Chief Executive, OBJECT campaign
  • Bishop of Wakefield
  • Margaret & James Watson – Bereaved parents and press victims
  • Irvine Welsh – Writer
  • Rowan Williams – former Archbishop of Canterbury
  • John Willis – Documentary-maker
  • Jane Winter – Northern Ireland human rights campaigner
  • Victoria Wood – Writer and Comedian
  • Brian Woods – Documentary-maker
  • David Yelland – Former editor of The Sun



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette