British politicians clinch deal to regulate scandal-hungry press
LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain's three main political parties struck a compromise deal on a new regulatory system for the country's newspapers in the early hours of Monday morning, a lawmaker said, hours before what was to be a divisive parliamentary vote on the issue.
The government came under pressure to put a new regulatory system in place after a judge-led inquiry and a series of arrests laid bare a culture of phone hacking and malpractice in some parts of Britain's scandal-hungry press.
The deal is expected to see a new press regulator set up, the introduction of fines of up to 1 million pounds (S$1.51 million), and an obligation on newspapers to print prominent apologies where appropriate.
"I think we have got an agreement which protects the freedom of the press, that is incredibly important in a democracy, but also protects the rights of people not to have their lives turned upside down," Harriet Harman, the deputy leader of the opposition Labour party, told ITV TV.