Tory MPs urged to vote against PM on press regulation

Former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Fowler has urged the party's MPs to rebel against Prime Minister David Cameron's proposals for a Royal Charter to establish a new press regulator.

He claims the Liberal Democrats and Labour's plans on a new press regulation system were imperfect but the best solution on the table.

"Leveson proposed a perfectly sensible and moderate reform: an independent board would check whether the essentially self-regulatory regime for handling complaints and ensuring fairness to the public was working properly," Fowler wrote in The Guardian.

Lord Fowler says Prime Minister David Cameron's Royal Charter proposals are not the answer to installing new press regulation. Credit: Suzanne Plunkett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Fowler, who is now a journalist, added: "He believed that a short piece of legislation would give the public the greatest safeguard while protecting the legitimate rights of the press.

"The Miliband-Clegg amendment is not perfect. I remain sceptical of the need for a royal charter in spite of the safeguards now written in.

"But the issue for tomorrow is quite clear: it is which of the schemes comes closest to implementing Lord Justice Leveson's careful and objective report.

"There may be a last-minute compromise, but if I was still a Conservative MP I would be voting against my party tonight."