Royal charter block fails overnight

The newspaper publisher-led push to block the Royal Charter, designed to regulate the press, failed overnight.

Presiding judge, Lord Justice Richards, said the publishers’ case was “weak at best”.

UK publishers were considering whether to make an appeal to the High Court to block the charter.

The decision needed to be made before the Privy Council was due to meet.

British newspapers are against Parliament’s proposed charter and have threatened to establish a rival system.

Two judges dismissed publishers’ application to seek judicial review of what they described as the Privy Council’s “unfair, irrational and unlawful” decision to reject the newspaper industry’s own proposals for a rival charter.

Lord Justice Richards, sitting with Mr Justice Sales, said the merits of their legal case were “at best weak”.

The judges, sitting at London’s High Court, refused the publishers’ an application for an injunction, which would have stopped ministers going to the Privy Council to seek the Queen’s approval for the charter.

Lord Justice Richards said he did not accept the procedure adopted by the Privy Council could have unfairly prevented the Press Standards Board of Finance (PressBof) from putting the industry’s case case for its rival charter forward.

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