PCC confirms closure and transfer to new body - Press Gazette

PCC confirms closure and transfer to new body

The Press Complaints Commission has confirmed its closure – agreeing to move to a new body that will see the transfer of all staff, assets and liabilities.

New chairman Lord Hunt had previously announced in February that the PCC had met and agreed that it would “in principle move now to a new body, for the first time a press regulator with teeth”.

He added: ‘So we’re very much now on the front foot and listening to all sides and determined to bring forward the sort of independent self-regulatory structure that everyone will approve of.”

The long-term replacement for the PCC will not be in place for at least a year, pending the findings of the Leveson Inquiry in October. The name and structure of the new body has not yet been finalised.

Last month Hunt outlined proposals for a contractual solution to self regulation of the press as an alternative to the statutory regulation, which he said many politicians wanted to impose.

He proposed creating a new more powerful PCC with three arms: one for dealing with complaints, one for enforcing standards and one to mediate disputes and award compensation.

Publishers would have to sign up to the new body on a five-year rolling contract.

He told the inquiry: “I have come to the conclusion that we do urgently need a fresh start and a totally new body with substantially increased powers to audit and enforce compliance with the code, to require access to documents, summon witnesses when necessary and also to impose fines, all backed by the commercial contracts.

Hunt said there was a consensus among newspaper proprietors and editors he had consulted about his proposals, including some working for Richard Desmond, who pulled his titles out of the PCC in January last year.