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IMPRESS tells Parliament: ‘We are here to stay’


In light of growing public concern about press standards, IMPRESS has given evidence to the House of Commons and House of Lords about the importance of independent and effective regulation in rebuilding trust.

The Chair of IMPRESS, Walter Merricks CBE, has announced that IMPRESS is here to stay. ‘We are growing gradually and slowly but we are here for the long term’, he told the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport on 6 December. ‘We are an organisation that is here to stay.’

On 13 December, Merricks and the CEO of IMPRESS, Jonathan Heawood, discussed recent research by YouGov with the House of Lords Communications Committee. Only 3% of the public would trust a regulator set up by newspaper publishers, Heawood told the committee. A large majority would prefer to see a regulator that is, like IMPRESS, independent of both Government and the newspaper industry.

Heawood and Merricks told both committees about IMPRESS’s growing regulatory workload and explained some of the key differences between IMPRESS and IPSO. They discussed the recent IMPRESS code consultation, which saw more than 60 individuals and organisations contribute to the development of a new standards code for news publishers. And they explained the benefits which section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act can bring to news publishers, by creating new protections against libel threats.

Both sessions are available to watch on Parliament TV:

House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport:
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/1d1ff9e5-6531-4fc7-becf-85ee5ad6a741

House of Lords Communications Committee:
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/4d4f2653-af8c-4d32-a71f-32b72dc560c3