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Leveson live blog

By Harry Phibbs
Follow Harry on Twitter

5pm Nick Clegg says that if everyone is being this non-partisan after the general election, there won't be room for everyone in Downing Street.

David Cameron says that his decision to pull out of cross-party talks on Thursday actually broke the "log jam."

Douglas Carswell MP tweets:

"The Commissioner for Public Appointments shall appoint the Appointments Committee" Royal Charter. How's that quango bonfire?"

4.45pm The Royal Charter is published.

3pm James Chapman tweets:

No10 source offers 'clarity on the PM's bedtime'. Apparently it was 3.20am #leveson

James Forsyth tweets:

Sir Peter Tapsell uses Tory parliamentary party meeting to say he loves the PM and was only joking about Boris taking his seat

1.30pm Kirsty Hughes, chief executive of the Index on Censorship, said:

"Politicians have now stepped in as ringmaster and our democracy is tarnished as a result. Requiring a two third majority from both Houses for future changes in the Royal Charter introduces political involvement for all time into press regulation in the UK. It is a bleak moment for the UK’s international reputation as a country where press freedom is cherished as a fundamental principle and right."

Paul Waugh tweets:

Sounds like Letwin got 4 and half hrs sleep. Was back at No.10 at 7am, having gone to bed at 2.30am #marathonman

1pm Michael Fabicant tweets:

Good to see Hacked Off now backing David Cameron's Royal Charter when 1st they - and Labour - opposed it. It looks like a good solution.

Chris Mason of the BBC tweets:

David Cameron will apply for emergency debate in the Commons today on proposals for reforming press regulation, the Speaker's Office said.

12.45pm Dan Hodges tweets:

Ed's pro-regulation line dishonest. Yes, there will be greater protection. But don't pretend zero impact on legitimate journalism.

Ric Holden of CCHQ tweets:

Hacked Off left the room before the crucial phase of the negotiations.

12.30pm David Cameron says:

  I’ve always wanted two things, and that is a strong regulator who can stand up for victims – and we’ve got that – and also a proper defence of press freedom, and we’ve got that. What’s happened is that everyone has accepted my argument for a Royal Charter. Why does that matter? Well, I thought it was important to avoid a press law, a law that said ‘the press can do this, the regulator’s got to do that, you can’t do that’ – that would be dangerous, that’s not going to happen, that’s what we secured, and that’s why this is a good deal.

He added:

It’s not statutory underpinning. What it is is simply a clause that says ‘politicians can’t fiddle with this’, so it takes it further away from politicians, which is actually, I think, a sensible step. What we wanted to avoid and what we have avoided is a press law. Nowhere would it say what this body is, what it does, what it can’t do, what the press can or can’t do – that, quite rightly, is being kept out of parliament. So no statutory underpinning, but a safeguard that says politicians can’t in future fiddle with this arrangement.

11am Paul Goodman tweets:

Told that Tory MPs have been summoned to Boothroyd Room at 14.15 today to be addresed by Cameron on his press regulation plans.

Ed Miliband says:

I'm delighted that we've come to a cross-party agreement. It's something I've worked flat-out [for], particularly over the last three days, because I think it's essential that we do move forward with consensus on this. We'll see the details later. But it's pretty well exactly what I hoped for when I published the ideas alongside the Labour party last Friday.

Trevor Kavanagh, the former Sun political editor told Sky News:

Until we've examined the fine print we will have to hold our fire, but it's a little worrying when the three political parties get together and their final verdict is welcomed so enthusiastically by Hacked Off, which is definitely seeking to shackle and gag the free press.

10.45am Grant Shapps tweets:

This is a great #Leveson result meaning toughest independent regulation in world - but without dangerous press law Ed Miliband wanted.

10.15am Paul Waugh tweets:

Lab source re Lords amendment:"This is not a little bit of statute, this is not a 'dab' of statute. This is statute pure and simple."

Ric Holden of CCHQ tweets:

Labour have been forced to backdown on proposals to have extreme press regulation. ...Crucially, Conservatives have said no to Labour’s statutory underpinning of a press regulator....Labour had said no to a Royal Charter. Now we see a complete climbdown from Labour.

Allegra Stratton of the BBC tweets:

 One senior paper person tells me that tho they have yet to see the "Leveson lock" detail, and tho not happy, it is possible they settle.

10am Mark Ferguson on Labour List is worried by restrictions on the press also applying to blogs:

Hang on a second. This Royal Charter appears to be attempting to regulate the Internet. Where to begin with how this won’t work? For starters, how do you define “publishes in the UK”? Is this where the servers are based? Is it who the audience is? Is it the content?

Also, will this be compulsory? We’re told by Labour sources close to the negotiations that this isn’t the case, but an “opt-in” system for blogs and online publications could very soon become compulsory as news media increasingly moves online. That’s likely to come with a great deal of expense and bureaucracy involved. A small organisation like LabourList might just be able to deal with that, but other (smaller) blogs possibly couldn’t.

9.30am Former Tory Louise Mensch tweets:

Congrats to Cameron and Oliver Letwin MP who have saved a free press at the 11th hour. What a fail by Labour, political wing of Hugh Grant. ....Statute here applies to any royal charter, not targeted at press. Win for Cameron. High stakes poker too.

9.15am Mark Wallace tweets:

A "no-change clause" would apply to *all* Royal Charters not just the press one. Big change for lots of organisations with zero consultation

Lord Fowler says:

“There may be a last-minute compromise, but if I was still a Conservative MP I would be voting against my party."

9am: Tory MP Douglas Carswell says: 

"A big part of me thinks that this is a disaster in the making. A small part of me hopes these proposals go through so we can see the utter balls up that follows.

 Kevin Maguire of The Mirror says:

So a medieval Royal Charter is to regulate the British press. This is the politics of a modern Ruritania

Guido says:

To all those bloggers who support this press control Charter because they hate Murdoch and Dacre, Guido offers this cautionary counsel, remember that the new regulator will cover you as well. You will have all the expense and bureaucracy of compliance as Murdoch and Dacre
face, without the means. Unless like Guido and the Spectator you plan to become media outlaws too…

8.45am The BBC report that Labour are claiming victory as a deal is reached between hree main political parties on press regulation.

Harriet Harman said a planned vote on the issue due to be held in the Commons later will not go ahead. But the BBC's Nick Robinson said Labour and the Liberal Democrats had appeared to have accepted a watered-down version of their demands for full legal underpinning of a royal charter establishing a new watchdog.

Ms Harman told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Yes, there is an agreement." adding that "a small piece of legislation" to the enterprise and regulatory reform bill will be tabled in the Lords

While Culture Secretary Maria Miller says:

"We’re very close to a deal but I think what has been accepted by all the parties is that the Prime Minister’s Royal Charter should go ahead, and that importantly we’ve stopped Labour’s extreme version of the press law, which now, as part of any deal, the Labour party would actually vote against....I think now there’s a very clear acceptance from Labour, from the Liberals, that the Prime Minister’s Royal Charter is the right way forward and we should stop the extreme version of press law that has been tabled.’Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch said a new regulator not bolstered by the law would still be more powerful than the Press Complaints Commission. She said: "For a start off you'd have more independent people sitting on the board, you'd have far greater powers to fine, apologies would be more prominent."

On Twittter Paul Goodman says its looks like "panic press regulation forced by Cameron's Commons weakness."


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