Press regulator deal agreed, says Harman

Deal: Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman claims talks to set up a tough new press regulator have ended in a deal between the three major parties.
Deal: Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman claims talks to set up a tough new press regulator have ended in a deal between the three major parties.
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A DEAL has been done to create a tough new press regulator, Harriet Harman announced today

The shadow culture secretary said a charter would be published this morning and would be put to MPs this afternoon.

Peers will then be asked to agree to a “small piece of legislation” which would effectively prevent the charter being watered down.

Ms Harman said the legislation to go before peers specifically would not mention press regulation.

She told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “We have to publish the charter this morning, we have to this afternoon put it before the House of Commons.

“In the House of Lords I hope they are going to agree to a bit of law that says this charter can’t be tampered with by ministers.

“I hope there won’t be a vote in the House of Lords because I hope it will be agreed.

“There’s an amendment going forward into the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which says that where a charter says in that charter it can’t be dissolved or amended without a two-thirds majority in both Houses then that should have the force of law.”

She added: “It specifically won’t mention this charter because the idea is that we want to have that effect without it actually mentioning press regulation in law.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband are expected to meet later, according to Culture Secretary Maria Miller. She said the three parties were “very close to a deal”, but insisted there would be no statutory underpinning for the new regulatory system.