Richard Desmond's newspapers and magazines have been formally excluded from the system of press self-regulation, writes Roy Greenslade in his Guardian blog. It follows the refusal of Desmond's company, Northern & Shell, to pay the fees to the body responsible for funding the Press Complaints Commission, known as PressBof. Accordingly, PressBof - the Press Standards Board of Finance - today announced the exclusion of all N&S titles from its self-regulatory system. They include the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, Star on Sunday and OK! magazine.
PCC chair, Baroness (Peta) Buscombe, said: "This decision means that the Northern & Shell titles will now automatically cease to be covered by the work of the PCC." The commission will therefore no longer deal with complaints from members of the public about those titles. If Desmond's editors choose to ignore complaints altogether, nothing can be done for the complainant. The exclusion of the N&S titles represents a significant breach in the industry's virtually unanimous acceptance of self-regulation, concludes Greenslade.