The Government's introduction of a new Royal Charter for the press
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I believe that what happened to the Dowlers, to the McCanns, to Christopher Jefferies and to many other innocent people who have never sought the limelight was despicable. It is therefore right that we put in place a new system of press regulation to ensure that such things can never happen again.

In light of this, the Government will now be taking forward the Cross Party Charter which was debated and agreed upon by all major political parties earlier this year. The Cross Party Charter will be on the agenda at a specially convened meeting of the Privy Council on 30th October.

As you may know, the press have previously petitioned the Privy Council Office with an alternative Royal Charter. While this proposal was fully considered, it was ultimately rejected. This was because it was unable to comply with some important Leveson principles, such as independence and access to arbitration.

I value a free press and I am sure that responsible newspapers have nothing to fear from the changes proposed. It is vital, though, that struggling local papers, who play such an important part in maintaining a sense of community, do not have unreasonable burdens placed on them because of the behaviour of their national colleagues.

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