The Info List - Independent Press Standards Organisation

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) was established on Monday 8 September 2014[1] following the windup of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), which had been the main industry regulator of the press in the United Kingdom since 1990.

IPSO is the largest independent regulator of the newspaper and magazine industry in the UK and exists to promote and uphold the highest professional standards of journalism in the UK, and to support members of the public in seeking redress where they believe that the Editors' Code of Practice[2] has been breached. The Editors' Code deals with issues such as accuracy, invasion of privacy, intrusion into grief or shock and harassment. IPSO is able to consider concerns about editorial content in newspapers and magazines, and about the conduct of journalists.

IPSO handles complaints, and conducts its own investigations into editorial standards and compliance. It also undertakes monitoring work, including by requiring publications to submit annual compliance reports[3]. IPSO has the power, where necessary, to require the publication of prominent corrections and critical adjudications, and may ultimately fine publications in cases where failings are particularly serious and systemic[4].

Report of the Leveson Inquiry

The Leveson Inquiry was set up and reported in November 2012, recommending in favour of the establishment of a new independent body. The PCC received extensive criticism for its lack of action in the News International phone hacking scandal, including from MPs and Prime Minister David Cameron, who called for it to be replaced with a new system in July 2011.[5] But Leveson said that a legal framework was necessary to give this body powers of enforcement such as exemplary damages and suggested the possibility of a Royal Charter to provide this.[6]

This route was accepted by David Cameron and following extensive political discussion, a Royal Charter on self-regulation of the press was granted by the Privy Council in October 2013 despite legal challenges by newspaper publishers (Pressbof) to prevent it. The publishers characterised the Charter as 'deeply illiberal' and had presented their own alternative proposals which the High Court did not accept as they did not comply with certain principles from the Leveson report, including independence and access to arbitration.[7]

The industry therefore continued with its own proposals despite fears that industry representatives would still have powers of veto over the chairman and other board members.[8] The Media Standards Trust also published a critique analysing in detail where the proposals met and fell short of Leveson's recommendations.[9]

One of the Government's commitments in implementing the Inquiry's recommendations related to the fact that while the industry should regulate itself, there should be some independent verification (or 'recognition') of the regulatory arrangements the press put in place. The Press Recognition Panel was created on 3 November 2014 as a fully independent body with the purpose of carrying out activities in relation to the recognition of press regulators. IPSO has said that it will not seek approval from the Press Recognition Panel (PRP)[10], which has officially recognised the regulator IMPRESS.[11]


The chair of IPSO is retired Court of Appeal judge, Sir Alan Moses and a 12-strong board has been appointed.[12] [13]A majority of the members are independent (7) which means they have no connections with the newspaper and magazine industry. The other members (5) represent the newspaper and magazine industry.

  • Mehmuda Mian – a solicitor specialising in commercial and professional indemnity litigation. She previously worked at the Law Society investigating complaints against solicitors and has chaired independent review panels for the NHS. She was one of the first Commissioners to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, former BBC Trustee, non-executive Director of the Independent Safeguarding Authority and of the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  • Ruth Sawtell – a Board member at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and at the Phone-paid Services Authority. She recently completed a six year tenure as a council member at the Advertising Standards Authority and was previously a council member at the Nursing and Midwifery Council and a non-executive director at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Claire Singers – former Managing Director and joint owner of LD Communications, one of the UK’s leading entertainment agencies. Claire has worked with some of the biggest artists in the world, including Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones, as well as being involved in high profile events such as Live 8 and Live Earth
  • Charles Wilson – Charles Wilson is the former managing director of Trinity Mirror and has previously been editor of The Times, The Independent, the Scottish Standard, The Glasgow Herald and the Chicago Sun-Times. He is a former member of the Youth Justice Board, and former vice-chairman of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. He is vice-chairman of Addaction.
  • Mike Soutar – a multi-award winning magazine professional with more than thirty years’ experience in the sector. He has edited some of the UK’s best-known magazines and is Chairman and co-founder of Shortlist Media Limited.

Former Board members include:

  • Richard Reed – Richard Reed is the co-founder of Innocent Drinks. The business was started from a market stall in 1999 by Richard and two friends and has grown into a business with a turnover of over £200 million, selling in fifteen different countries across Europe. Richard is the co-founder of Jamjar Investments, a company that backs young entrepreneurs; the co-founder of Art Everywhere, the world's largest art show; and the co-founder of the Reed Page Foundation, a charity that funds peace-brokering and environmental protection initiatives internationally. Richard is also chairman of the Innocent Foundation, and a patron of Peace One Day.
  • Dame Clare Tickell – Dame Clare Tickell is chief executive of Hanover Housing Association. She was previously chief executive of Action for Children and chair of the Help the Hospices Commission into the Future of End of Life Care, and was a member of the RSA Commission on 2020 Public Services.
  • Baroness Ros Altmannpeer, leading UK pensions expert, and political campaigner.
  • William 'Bill' Newman – former Sun ombudsman[14]
  • Kevin Hand MBE[15] – the former chief executive of Emap and Hachette Filipacchi.
  • Trevor Kavanagh - the former political editor of the Sun.

The Chief Executive is Matt Tee.[16]


Several of the broadsheet newspapers, including the Financial Times, The Independent and The Guardian newspapers have indicated they will not take part in the organisation. The Financial Times joins The Guardian in establishing its own independent complaints system.[17][18]

IPSO regulates over 1500 print and 1100 online titles, including most of the UK's national newspapers[19][20]


IPSO is a self regulator paid for by its member publishers though the Regulatory Funding Company.[21]


  1. ^ "Judgment on IPSO", The Guardian, 5 September 2014 
  2. ^ Editors' Code of Practice
  3. ^ "Annual statements". www.ipso.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  4. ^ "About standards investigations". www.ipso.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  5. ^ Phone hacking: Cameron and Miliband demand new watchdog, BBC News, 8 July 2011, retrieved 5 September 2014 
  6. ^ Brian Leveson (November 2012), An Inquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press (Volume 1) (PDF) 
  7. ^ Press regulation: Privy Council grants royal charter, BBC News UK, 30 October 2013, retrieved 5 September 2014 
  8. ^ Ponsford, Dominic (15 November 2013), "Independent Press Standards Organisation is not independent, but it is probably the best solution we are going to get", Press Gazette, retrieved 5 September 2014 
  9. ^ IPSO: An assessment by the Media Standards Trust, Media Standards Trust, November 2013, retrieved 5 September 2014 
  10. ^ Ponsford, Dominic (19 October 2016). "Sir Alan Moses: Free press in the UK is 'doomed' if it allows Government to 'corral' it into state-backed regulator". Press Gazette. 
  11. ^ "First official UK press regulator, Impress, approved". BBC News. 
  12. ^ "Press regulator Ipso names its board", The Guardian, 28 May 2014 
  13. ^ "Board, Complaints Committee and staff". www.ipso.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  14. ^ "IPSO board member Bill Newman sacked by Moses 'because of connection to The Sun' – Press Gazette". www.pressgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  15. ^ "Kevin Hand remembered as 'towering figure' of magazines". Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  16. ^ Matt Tee announced as IPSO Chief Executive, IPSO, 31 July 2014, retrieved 5 September 2014 
  17. ^ "Financial Times opts out of IPSO regulator in favour of its own system", Press Gazette, 17 April 2014, retrieved 5 September 2014 
  18. ^ Greenslade, Roy (4 September 2014), "Why the Guardian's decision not to sign up to Ipso makes sense", The Guardian, retrieved 5 September 2014 
  19. ^ "Who IPSO regulates". www.ipso.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  20. ^ "IPSO annual report 2016" (PDF). 
  21. ^ "About IPSO". www.ipso.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 

See also

External links