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Cameron Proposes Royal Charter to Resolve U.K. Press Regulation

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Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister David Cameron proposed a “royal charter” to solve the problem of how to regulate the U.K. press without passing a law that media companies said could hurt free speech.

Judge Brian Leveson concluded his government-mandated probe into media ethics Nov. 29 by urging Cameron to legislate to create a basis for a new press regulator. The prime minister responded at the time by saying he wasn’t prepared to “cross the Rubicon” by passing a law.

Instead, his Conservative Party today proposed using a royal charter, whereby Queen Elizabeth II would sign an instrument creating a “recognition panel” that would have the job of saying whether regulators were sufficiently independent of the press and were protecting the interests of the public.

Cameron’s Liberal Democrat coalition partners and the opposition Labour Party have both said they support implementing Leveson’s proposals for a regulator in full.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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