THE threat hanging over publishers to pay all legal costs if they win or lose a court case will be removed, it was announced in the King's Speech.
Ministers have made a commitment to repeal the controversial Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 which has yet to be enacted.
King Charles said that the government will bring forward legislation to “protect public interest journalism”.
The publishers would have to pay expensive legal costs in both defamation and privacy cases for both sides if they don’t sign up to an approved regulator.
The Impress media body – set up by the Press Recognition Panel – oversees 125 publishers and is the only approved regulator set up in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry.
But big publishing names such as News UK which owns The Sun, Daily Mail and General Trust and Telegraph Media Group joined the voluntary funded Independent Press Standards Organisation, set up in 2014.
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Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has outlined her “commitment” to its repeal.
At the end of last month, she used a reception in Downing Street to praise the media for “reporting without fear or favour”.
She also said they com bat both “mis and disinformation” and “holding people, organisations and countries to account”.
Industry figures have already backed government plans to repeal Section 40.
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Society of Editors executive director Dawn Alford argued that Section 40 would have had a “devastating impact on investigative journalism as well as impose crippling costs on publishers simply for telling the truth”.
But the PRP says that the “public remain at risk, as pursuing a court case is out of reach for most people, unless of course they can afford expensive court proceedings”.
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