Queen Signs Off Press Regulation

The Queen has signed off on a royal charter that will see a landmark reform of the way the press is regulated in Britain.

The reform was finalised by the privy council on Wednesday, despite last-minute legal attempts to block it by the UK's major newspaper groups.

The Queen's approval at Buckingham Palace coincided with the launch of the prosecution in a court case examining the role of News Of The World journalists and an 'expert phone hacker' in the hacking of mobile phones for journalistic purposes.

Former NOTW editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are charged with being part of a conspiracy to hack phones between October 2000 and August 2006.

The phone-hacking allegations, which emerged in the mainstream press in 2010, led to calls for a system of government-endorsed press regulation to be introduced.

The regulations are unlikely to be finalised until after the next election; however, newspapers cannot be forced to sign up to the new measures, which are viewed by most publications as a threat to press freedom.

Newspaper groups including the publishers of the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Telegraph and the Times have promised to legally challenge the measures.

A press-approved regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), has been formed in reaction to the new regulations.


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