IPSO, the press body being set up by the big newspaper companies, today announced that it had appointed its board and claimed that IPSO would act independently.
Hacked Off director Brian Cathcart said:
“The big newspaper companies have spent two years carefully designing IPSO to serve their own interests before those of the public – just like the discredited PCC did before it – and these board members are powerless to change that even if they want to.
“If IPSO really wants the trust of the public there is a simple test it can take to show whether it is independent and effective: it can seek recognition under the Royal Charter. That is the test recommended by Leveson, endorsed by every party in Parliament and backed by victims of press abuses, hundreds of prominent people in the world of free expression – and the overwhelming majority of the public.
“Unfortunately, at the moment IPSO can’t pass that test because its rules and procedures are designed, not to give the public a good service and uphold press standards as Leveson urged, but to ensure the big papers can continue to distort, intrude and bully with impunity. Ordinary people in their thousands will be the victims of this.
“IPSO is not new, not independent and not effective. It is the PCC all over again. Twenty-five years ago the big press companies were told they were drinking in the last chance saloon. Despite phone hacking, mass theft of personal information, serial libel and relentless bullying and dishonesty from those same companies, they are still drinking. Only now the saloon is called IPSO.
“If the IPSO Board members are under the impression that they can reform it, they should check the paperwork: the flaws in IPSO are hard-wired into its articles and regulations and can only be changed with the direct approval of the big newspaper groups themselves.”