Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre attacks 'insidious' press regulation ahead of update to Editors' Code

Paul Dacre, Daily Mail editor and chairman of the Editors' Code of Practice, has attacked those who "insidiously conspire to manacle press freedom" ahead of the group's decision to consult on and update the Code.

Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre attacks 'insidious' press regulation ahead of update to Editors' Code

Dacre, who will step down as the group's chairman once a successor has been appointed, made the comments while referring to Impress, the state-backed press regulator, as a "joke body", but said press regulation is "no laughing matter".

"I still have to pinch myself that we live in a country in which the Government's press regulator is financed by Max Mosley and that papers who refuse to sign up to it will not only face punitive damages in libel courts, but could be forced to pay a claimant's costs even if the article concerned is entirely true and the paper wins its case.

"[This] is why my contempt for those so-called liberals who insidiously conspire to manacle press freedom is only matched by my admiration for those in our industry who strive to preserve it."

Dacre was instrumental in the development of the Code of Practice, which is now undergoing public consultation on how it can be further improved, it was announced yesterday.

The Code's committee, which writes and revises the code of standards policed by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), is looking for suggestions from the public, editors, journalists and others working in the media, as well as anyone else with an interest in journalistic standards.

IPSO chairman Alan Moses said: "The Editors' Code of Practice is the cornerstone of IPSO's contractual agreement with the press and is the document by which we determine whether standards have been breached by any of the two thousand publications we regulate.

"However, the Code cannot stand still and needs to evolve. A trusted, thriving and free press is vital to our national discourse and I encourage anyone with a view on how the press is regulated to respond to the consultation."

The closing date for submissions is Friday 3 March 2017 and can be made via editorscode.org.uk.

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