Chris Bryant, WH debate

Chris Bryant: 'The PCC are engaging in a pretty ludicrous example of shenanigans at the moment'

The closure of the Press Complaints Commission and its transfer to a new body is a "shoddy deal struck by the editors" and fails to address the wider problems facing newspaper regulation, Labour MPs have told the government.

Speaking at culture, media and sport questions in the House of Commons this morning, Chris Bryant said: "The PCC are engaging in a pretty ludicrous example of shenanigans at the moment. They're trying to bounce Leveson into some new plan that they're trying to put forward.

"Will the minister make it absolutely clear that the only thing that the government is interested in is what Leveson comes up with, not some shoddy deal struck by the editors?"

Junior culture minister Ed Vaizey replied: "I'm not sure the honourable gentleman is being entirely fair. My understanding is that while absolutely the final answer lies with Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry, he has also made it clear that he wants to see the press begin to make moves to get their house in order while he considers all the evidence in front of him."

Shadow culture minister Harriet Harman told parliament: "We all want to see a new press complaints system and it must be independent of politicians and editors and it must be able to enforce its rulings on newspapers. 

"The proposals being put forward by Lord Hunt fail to meet either of those tests and until they do will amount to nothing more than a change of name, business as usual, and that simply will not be acceptable."

Vaizey replied: "Lord Hunt has put forward his proposals and I would urge the right honourable lady to work with him if she thinks they are not adequate."

Hunt, the new chairman of the press complaints body, said last month that the move to a new organisation would "resume public trust and confidence in the press", adding: "We will start again with a new press regulator with teeth".

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