The Government has rejected for a second time amendments from peers seeking press cenorship.
Solicitor General Robert Buckland insisted it would be simply not appropriate to include within the Investigatory Powers Bill changes designed to ensure costs are awarded against newspaper and media organisations in press censorship cases.
Pro-censorship peers have repeatedly sought to amend the Bill so it implements a key part of the Leveson Inquiry report forcing newspapers and the media to submit to censorship.
MPs voted to reject the latest Lords amendments by 295 votes to 245, a majority of 50.
Ministers are currently conducting a ten-week consultation which includes examining whether to implement legislation which would force newspapers to pay all of the costs of libel or privacy actions brought against them -- even if they win their case.
This injustice would not apply to publications which sign up to a new state-backed press censor.
Labour is inevitably supporting this censorship attempt with Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott saying:
Labour fully supports this set of amendments to the Investigatory Powers Bill and on this side of the House we have consistently and genuinely called for the Leveson recommendations to be implemented in full.
SNP justice spokeswoman Joanna Cherry also supported the injustice and censorship saying:
Those who have not hacked, do not hack phones and do not intend to hack telephones or indeed emails have nothing to fear from these provisions.
But Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said:
This is an absolutely dreadful amendment. It should be thrown out, rejected, sent back to the House of Lords. It is fundamentally wrong. It seeks to punish those who may be innocent, to fine them for telling the truth, for saying things that people in
power do not like. It goes to the heart of our free press and it should be thrown in the bin.
Press regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), has announced a review of the way its regulations should apply to
global digital publishers. The review has been triggered by concerns that IPSO's original regulations may no longer be adequate to deal with some of the issues thrown up by new models of global publishing.
IPSO Chief Executive, Matt Tee said:
When the current regulations were drafted nearly four years ago, it was difficult to imagine the developments that would take place in digital publishing, with some publishers having numerous editorial bureaux across the world focused on different
audiences in different time zones. This is already an issue for some IPSO members and is bound to affect others in future. It may also be a disincentive to other global digital publishers joining IPSO. We want a solution that enables IPSO to be an
effective regulator for relevant consumers and provides a definition that is intuitive and workable for publishers.
The review will be carried out by IPSO's Board as expeditiously as possible. The terms of reference for the review will be to:
Consider how best to define the content, published online by a global publisher, that should fall under IPSO's remit consult with global digital publishers on a proposed definition examine the experience of overseas press regulators as well as regulators
in other areas of communication, such as broadcast or video on demand seek advice on how a revised definition would best be implemented.
Until the review is concluded, IPSO may exercise its discretion not to consider new complaints which relate specifically to articles and other content about events in overseas jurisdictions, and which are not primarily targeted at a UK audience.
IPSO will be contacting relevant parties in the next week inviting them to make submissions to the review, however submissions are welcome from any person or group. Submissions should be sent to email@example.com. The closing date for submissions
is midday on Friday 19 August 2016.
Offsite Article: Censors from every country claim dominium of the world
Miqdaad Versi, assistant general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain but acting in a personal capacity, complained to the
Independent Press Standards Organisation that Mail Online breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice in an article headlined Mother of four stabbed to death while her family were at a funeral 'may have been murdered in Islamic
honour killing' , published on 25 May 2016.
The article reported that a woman had been found dead in her home and the police were investigating the circumstances of her death.
The complainant said that the reference in the headline to an Islamic honour killing was inaccurate: honour killings have no basis in Islam. He noted the difference between the words Islamic , meaning relating to Islam as a faith,
and Muslim meaning relating to a Muslim individual. He said that honour killings are rooted in culture, not religion.
The publication did not believe that the headline was inaccurate, and noted that the possibility that the woman had been murdered in an honour killing was not in dispute. It said that the phrase complained of had been used to indicate that the
killing may have been related to the religion of those concerned. The publication did not accept that the phrase Islamic honour killing would have suggested to readers that honour killings are approved of by Islam. It said that the article
was not an in-depth discussion of honour killings , and the phrase had just been used a shorthand reference to the religion of the individuals involved. It noted that honour killings are particularly prevalent in Muslim countries.
Nonetheless, the publication offered to remove the word Islamic from the headline and from the article, and to publish the following footnote:
An earlier version of this article said that the police were investigating whether Mrs Khan may have been murdered in an Islamic honour killing . We are happy to make clear Islam as a religion does not support so-called honour killings .
Relevant Code provisions: Clause 1 (Accuracy)
(i) The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.
(ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and, where appropriate, an apology published.
Findings of the Committee
The phrase Islamic honour killing suggested that the killing had been motivated by Islam, when there was no basis for saying that religion had played a role in this killing. The Committee did not accept the publication's explanation that, in this
context, Islamic had simply referred to the religion of those involved. There was a failure to take care over the accuracy of the article, in breach of Clause 1 (i).
The publication had offered to remove the word Islamic from the article, and append an explanatory footnote. This footnote stated the original error, and made clear the correct position. It was offered in the publication's first response to IPSO's
investigation of the complaint, which was sufficiently prompt. Further, the placement constituted due prominence under the Code. There was no breach of Clause 1 (ii).
The complaint was upheld under Clause 1 (Accuracy).
Remedial action required
The publication had already offered to amend the article and publish a footnote. In light of the Committee's findings on the matter, these actions should now be taken without delay
Press censor Impress has named the first 10 media organisations to sign up including: New Internationalist, The Ferret, The Caerphilly Observer, The Port Talbot Magnet, The Southport Reporter and View Digital
Walter Merricks, the chairman of Impress, said that it has also officially submitted an application to the Press Recognition Panel for recognition under the controversial royal charter:
This marks a new era for independent press regulation. It is a significant moment for us and one which has taken a lot of hard work to achieve; we believe that we meet the requirements for recognition and we will now wait and see if the panel accepts
that we are independent and effective, properly funded and able to protect the public.
The recognition process is expected to last at least four months.