Lord Faulks has been appointed as the Chairman of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the body expected to handle complaints made against some UK newspapers and websites.
Lord Faulks was a Conservative Member of the House of Lords for over 9 years before his appointment was confirmed. He was also a Government Minister for over two years. His appointment would be banned under the Royal Charter model for independent self-regulation of news publishers.
In response, Hacked Off have launched a statement of opposition to political interference in the regulation of the press which will be sent to IPSO. Hacked Off call for supporters of freedom of expression to back this initiative, regardless of one’s views on the recognition system.
It can be signed here:
Hacked Off Director Kyle Taylor commented that:
“IPSO’s constitution is riddled with pro-industry biases, and it has failed the public at every turn.
“The appointment of an ex-Government politician as Chairperson of the body, who will join the network of politicians and newspaper executives already pulling the strings at the IPSO system, demonstrates the disturbing and growing links between IPSO and the state – which threatens the very notion of a free press.
“Hacked Off and campaigners around the world who believe in freedom of expression take the view that politicians should be nowhere near a press complaints-handling body.
“One reason the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) failed before it was rebranded as IPSO was that it was generally chaired by a politician – which Leveson found incompatible with press freedom – a belief we share. In the case of Lord Faulks, not only does he continue to sit and vote but he was very recently a member of the Government and only resigned the whip immediately before his appointment was confirmed.
“We urge anyone who believes in freedom of expression to join us in challenging IPSO’s total disregard for the principles of press freedom yet again with this appointment by signing our statement.”
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Hacked Off is the campaign for a free and accountable press, and we work with the victims of press abuse to achieve those aims.