• Regulation of the Press

    02 October 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about regulation of the press.

    On a personal level, I have a huge amount of sympathy for Ben Stokes and Gareth Thomas. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to re-live a family tragedy in the public eye, or to feel forced into revealing extremely personal information. Stokes and Thomas are British sporting heroes and we are all protective of their welfare.

    The majority of national newspapers are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the independent regulator for most of the newspaper and magazine industry in the UK. IPSO has made continued improvements over the years by incorporating steps recommended by the Leveson Inquiry. This was confirmed in Sir Joseph Pilling’s 2016 review, which found IPSO had made important achievements in demonstrating it was an independent and effective regulator.

    In the years since the Leveson Inquiry, many publishers have introduced comprehensive guidance on topics including accuracy and harassment. Where participating publishers fall short of their legal standards, IPSO offers support to victims of libel, slander or malicious falsehood in the form of low-cost arbitration, which offers quick access to fair and independent redress. IPSO can also take action against publishers that do not comply with the Editors’ Code of Practice, as it has done on many occasions.

    The Online Harms White Paper is rightly focused on combatting the spread of horrific terrorist and extremist content. I fully support the ongoing efforts to make the internet a safer place for everyone. A wide range of companies will fall under its scope to ensure there are safeguards to keep UK users, particularly children, safe from illegal content and activity.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon