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EDITIONS
Sunday, 14 July, 2002, 07:23 GMT 08:23 UK
New boss for press watchdog
Sir Christopher Meyer
Sir Christopher Meyer has a tough task ahead
Sir Christopher Meyer, the British ambassador in Washington, is to become chairman of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

The previous chairman, Lord Wakeham, stood down because of his involvement with the stricken US energy company Enron.

Sir Christopher is expected to take up his new position in 2003.

The PCC, which is independent of government and funded by the press, has the power to order papers to report its findings and its only sanctions are publicity.

Career diplomat

Some politicians would like it replaced by a statutory body with the teeth to enforce a privacy law.

Sir Christopher Meyer is the first career diplomat to take on the role and his diplomatic skills will be fully tested.

Under Lord Wakeham, the PCC acquired a reputation as an arbitrator as much as a watchdog.

It has helped sort out rows between newspapers and the royal family, particularly over coverage of the Princes William and Harry, or between editors and government ministers.

Tougher line sought

Sir Christopher's additional experience, as a former press secretary to John Major, should prove invaluable.

Some editors believe the PCC has given too much support to tabloid newspapers when they have published intrusive pictures or stories.

They would like to see the new chairman take a tougher line.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Daniel Boettcher
"He's used to dealing with the media"


See also:

15 Jul 02 | Politics
01 Feb 02 | Politics
11 Jun 02 | Politics
30 Jan 02 | Politics
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