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Index on Censorship responds to party leaders’ comments in debate on Royal Charter

By Padraig Reidy / 18 March, 2013

Index logo xResponding to the party leaders’ comments in parliament today, Index on Censorship CEO Kirsty Hughes said:

“In spite of David Cameron’s claims, there can be no doubt that what has been established is statutory underpinning of the press regulator. This introduces a layer of political control that is extremely undesirable. On this sad day, Britain has abandoned a democratic principle.

“But beyond that, the Royal Charter’s loose definition of a ‘relevant publisher’ as a ‘website containing news-related material’ means blogs could be regulated under this new law as well. This will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on everyday people’s web use.

“Bloggers could find themselves subject to exemplary damages in court, due to the fact that they were not part of a regulator that was not intended for them in the first place. This mess of legislation has been thrown together with alarming haste: there’s little doubt we’ll repent for a while to come.”

Also read: Statement from Index Chair Jonathan Dimbleby on behalf of Index’s board of trustees

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About Padraig Reidy

Padraig Reidy Padraig Reidy is a columnist for Index on Censorship. He has also written for The Observer, The Guardian, and The Irish Times.

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