David Cameron has insisted a cross-party agreement for a new system of press regulation protects the principle of the free press as well as "protecting the vulnerable and innocent." But newspaper groups say the deal contains "several deeply contentious issues".
The deal was made in the early hours of Monday morning - with all three main political parties claiming victory.
Speaking in the Commons, David Cameron said it is "now time to make the system work" and added he was "grateful" for the spirit of "give and take" from all sides.
Setting out plans for a Royal Charter to back a new, tougher press regulator with the power to impose big fines and prominent apologies on errant newspapers, Mr Cameron told MPs the proposals delivered on the recommendations of last year's Leveson Report on press standards.
David Cameron today acknowledged that legislation was necessary to establish a system of exemplary damages for newspapers which did not sign up to the regulator.
He also confirmed that the need for two-thirds of parliamentarians in the Commons and Lords to change the Royal Charter would be enshrined in law.
But he insisted: "It is legislation to protect the Royal Charter, it is not legislation to recognise the Royal Charter."
The key points of the draft Royal Charter on press regulation are:
- To create a body known as the Recognition Panel
- To remain in place unless two-thirds of MPs and peers decide otherwise
- To impose "financial sanctions up to 1% of turnover attributable to the publication concerned with a maximum of £1,000,000"
- To be funded by public money “to commence its operations and thereafter fulfil its purpose for the first three years”
- To be governed by a board made up of a chair and at least four members
In a joint statement, representatives of some of Britain's largest newspaper publishing groups said they would need time to study the cross-party proposals before responding, noting that early drafts contained "several deeply contentious issues which have not yet been resolved with the industry".
The statement was issued by the Daily Mail Group, Telegraph Media Group and News International - the publishers of The Sun and Times newspapers - as well as the Newspaper Society and Professional Publishers Association, it read:
UK Editor Lucy Manning reports: