David Cameron halts press regulation talks
Prime Minister David Cameron has called a halt to cross-party talks on press regulation, sparking anger from party leaders and victims of media intrusion.
Mr Cameron said he would publish plans for a royal charter to establish a tougher press regulator and will ask Parliament to vote on it on Monday.
Both Labour and the Lib Dems said they were disappointed and surprised.
The two parties had backed statutory regulation as recommended by the Leveson inquiry into the press.
The inquiry was set up by Mr Cameron to examine the culture, practice and ethics of the press in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid.
Its 2,000-page report, published in November, found press behaviour was "outrageous" and "wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people".
It recommended that the press should set up a tough new independent regulator, but the system should be underpinned by legislation to ensure the system was independent and effective
The report exposed divisions in the coalition government, with Mr Cameron opposing statutory control.
Many who oppose statutory control feel it could limit freedom of speech, whereas those who back it say self regulation - the current system of press regulation - has been shown to be ineffective in preventing press intrusion.....Read more