New press regulator shoots down accusations about independence

Charlotte Henry
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Regulation of the press has become a contentious issue following the hacking scandal
DOUBTS over the independence of members of the new press regulator were strongly denied by its chairman last night.

A document from an unknown author given to Labour’s former secretary of state for culture, media and sport (CMS), Ben Bradshaw, makes assertions about members of Ipso’s board and complaints committee. Bradshaw is now a member of the CMS select committee and publicly made reference to the information during a session at which Ipso chairman Sir Alan Moses was appearing.

Moses responded in a letter to Bradshaw yesterday. The letter brushes off the accusation that members are linked to the body that funds Ipso, or publications it regulates. He writes: “Nothing in the note comes close to showing that any of those it names is ‘connected’ with either the regulatory funding body or one or more bodies who are or who are capable of being a regulated entity.”

All the Ipso members mentioned in the report insist they are independent.

One, Ros Altmann, is said to have acted as consultant for Sky. Altmann said that the report refers to on air work done in 2006, for which she received a small fee. Others had connections to the media industry many years ago.