Cameron faces defeat on battle over future of press regulation

DAVID Cameron yesterday stunned Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg by abandoning cross-party talks on press regulation, forcing a Commons vote on Monday.

At a press conference the Prime Minister said he would let MPs decide whether to back the Conservatives’ plan for a Royal Charter to support a new press regulator.

And Cameron blamed a “hung parliament” for his inability to secure backing for his proposals for a Royal Charter.

Labour and the Lib Dems want a tougher approach with the UK’s press regulator supported by statute, as recommended by Lord Justice Leveson’s report.

“It is wrong to cross that Rubicon by writing key elements of press regulation into the law of the land,” Cameron said. “It is wrong to create a vehicle whereby politicians could in future impose regulations.”

But Labour and the Lib Dems combined have more MPs than the Conservatives, meaning they could combine to defeat Monday’s motion.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he was “disappointed and surprised” by Cameron’s decision.