Press regulator IPSO is ready to carry out its first standards investigation after appointing nine members of its investigations panel.
But there are no other signs that such an operation is on the cards.
One of the main new powers for the Independent Press Standards Commission, as compared to the Press Complaints Commission, is that it can investigate members and issue fines of up to £1m. But in more than three years of operation it has never done so.
The six independent and three industry appointees will oversee any such investigations which are held in the future.
These probes can be called for if:
- there may have been serious and systemic breaches of the Editors’ Code
- there has been one or more failure or failures to comply with the requirements of the Board
- a publishers’ annual statement identifies significant issues of concern either in relation to a single incident or a pattern of significant, serial or widespread breaches of the Editors’ Code
- astatutory authority reports identify substantial Editors’ Code compliance issues
- in exceptional circumstances, IPSO reasonably considers that an investigation is desirable because substantial legal issues or Editors’ Code compliance issues are raised.
The panelists are:
- Rachel Childs: Rachel Childs is a former headteacher who has held leadership positions across the primary and secondary sectors.
- Keith Grehan: Keith Grehan is a Managing Director and co-Founder of Novacies Capital.
- Sarah Havlin: Certification Officer of Northern Ireland at the Regulator of Trade Unions and Employer Associations.
- Dermott Horrigan: Retired from Lancashire Police after 35 years’ service, 27 as an investigator at all ranks from constable to detective chief superintendent.
- Suzanne McCarthy: Chairman of Depaul UK, a national charity focused on youth homelessness, the Southwark and Lambeth Strategic Health Partnership, the Joint Audit Panel for the Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime and the Metropolitan Police Service and the Fundraising Regulator’s Standards Committee.
- Kim Parsons: A solicitor, who also works as an Ombudsman for the Financial Ombudsman Service, an Adjudicator and Legal Chair for the Solicitors Regulation Authority and as a Legally Qualified Chair/Legal Assessor for the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.
- Paul Connolly: Media consultant and managing director of a video production & marketing company. Formerly Group Managing Editor of Independent News & Media.
- Richard Walker: Richard Walker is the former editor of the Sunday Herald and The National and is currently consultant editor with the National.
- Neil White: Was editor-in-chief of four newspapers, including the Derby Telegraph, and their associated websites until June 2016. Since then, he has been running his own media consultancy.