Future of press self-regulation in chair’s hands, says McLellan

THE future of press self-regulation, as far as the Press Complaints Commission is concerned, is “firmly in the chairman’s hands”, according to The Scotsman editor, John McLellan.

In his weekly column for the paper, Editor’s Notebook, McLellan writes: “The Press Complaints Commission’s director, Stephen Abell, has, as speculated here a fortnight ago, duly announced his resignation and will leave at the end of this month to join Pagefield Communications.

“The gap he leaves will not be easy to fill, and with the appointment of PCC chairman Lord Hunt’s long-time political assistant Michael McManus to take over in a temporary role as director of transition, the future direction of self-regulation is firmly in the chairman’s hands.”

McLellan also comments on First Minister, Alex Salmond, being prevented from speaking about rugby on the BBC because of the possible political implications (local government elections and the referendum debate).

Says McLellan: “… perhaps Mr Salmond has a point, for who sprung up on the national news last week to give us his views on the resignation of England football manager Fabio Capello than Prime Minister, David Cameron.

“Now he might know a thing or two about the Eton Wall Game, but his knowledge of soccer is not something of which most of us are aware. So what of the BBC’s impartiality rules on that occasion? Did Ed Miliband back ’Arry Redknapp for the job? Would Nick Clegg ask Vince Cable to look at Capello’s severance deal? We’ll never know.”