Editors voice concern at regulator
David Cameron was last night facing growing questions over whether his plans for a powerful new press regulator, backed by legislation, would work.
Financial Times editor Lionel Barber became the latest senior figure to voice concern over the proposals agreed at late night talks between the three main political parties and the Hacked Off group, which has led the campaign for tighter press regulation.
Mr Barber described the discussions – at which the press were not represented – as a "horse traders' ball" and said his newspaper had yet to decide whether it would sign up to the new arrangements.
The FT had been among the papers most sympathetic towards the idea of a regulator established by royal charter – which the plan envisages – and Mr Barber's comments represent a setback for the Prime Minister, raising questions as to how many newspapers will join the new system.
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Alan Rusbridger, the editor-in-chief of Guardian News and Media, was broadly supportive of the new arrangements, although he, too, expressed "grave reservations" over measures to enable the courts to impose exemplary damages on papers which do not sign up.
Other national newspapers have been more critical, with the Daily Mail Group, the Telegraph Media Group, News International and Northern and Shell issuing a joint statement saying there were "deeply contentious issues" still to be resolved.
The Daily Mirror denounced the plans in its editorial, while The Spectator magazine made its view clear in a front page which simply said "No".