Press reforms are agreed

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PRESS reform has been agreed by the leaders of Britain’s three main political parties including South Yorkshire MPs Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans for an independent regulator without a new law were due to be voted on last night.

But the idea was opposed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats and Labour, led by Mr Miliband.

Both parties wanted the new press regulator to have statutory powers.

A compromise was reached before the vote was due to take place.

An independent regulator will be set up by royal charter, although opinions vary over whether it creates a new law.

Mr Clegg, Sheffield Hallam MP, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve come to a cross-party agreement.

“It’s something I’ve worked flat out for, particularly over the last three days, because I think it’s essential that we do move forward with consensus on this.

“We’ll see the details later. But it’s pretty well exactly what I hoped for when I published the ideas alongside the Labour Party last Friday.”

Reform of Press complaints procedure was recommended by Lord Justice Leveson in his report into the phone- hacking scandal by tabloid journalists.

But there was concern that creating new laws to regulate the press could harm freedom of expression and lead to politicians controlling the media.