Medway MPs vote against new press law
Two Medway MPs were among a tiny handful to vote against a new
press law last night.
Tracey Crouch (Chatham) and Mark Reckless (Rochester and Strood)
were among only 13 who rebelled against part of the new scheme.
A last-minute cross-party deal has introduced a Royal Charter
which will regulate newspapers and any other publication about "current affairs", including
It was set up in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry, which heard
evidence of phone hacking and bribery on national newspapers.
But critics say the move has been rushed through and it is
unclear who or what the rules refer to.
Membership of the new regulator will be voluntary, but if
newspapers who boycott it lose a legal action, a judge will be able
to impose much higher damages to make an example of them.
Thirteen MPs, all Conservatives, voted against exemplary damages
last night, compared to 530 MPs in favour.
David Cameron had left cross-party talks on press regulation,
but returned to them when Labour and the Liberal Democrats said
they would team up to defeat him.
Miss Crouch, who has long spoken against any law to restrict the
media, showed her apparent frustration with the last-minute
She tweeted: "I hate going to bed a loyalist and then wake up a
Mr Reckless added: "Royal Charter = party leaders and senior
ministers cooking up orders 4 press behind closed doors under
prerogative power 2 deny MPs any say."
Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti voted for the new
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