Ripon MP supports freedom of the press in House of Commons debate

Julian Smith - supporting a free press.
Julian Smith - supporting a free press.

Ripon MP Julian Smith has supported a self-regulated free press in a House of Commons debate.

In the parliamentary debate on February 13, Mr Smith agreed with proposals set out by Culture Secretary Maria Miller for a “tough new system of independent self-regulation”.

He told the House: “Newsquest Media Group, Johnston Press, Ackrill Media Group and all the local newspapers in Yorkshire and the north have stated unanimously that they do not want parliament bearing down on them. We just want to hold local organisations and politicians hard to account. I urge the Secretary of State to push forward quickly with her proposals, which are excellent and what people in the north want.”

Following the publication of the Leveson Report in November, recommending a new independent press regulation body, the Government expressed support for a process of self-regulation – but rejected proposed changes to legislation and state-regulation.

Mr Smith told the Gazette: “There is unanimous support from press in Yorkshire and nationally that Parliament is not involved in state representation. I am delighted we have come up with proposals that Government will not bear down on local and national media. I hope and believe all parties will get behind the proposals to continue to have a robust and free press in the future.”