McLellan calls for Hunt proposals on Press regulation be given chance to prove themselves

A FORMER editor of The Scotsman has this evening made a strong case for recommendations by the head of the Press Complaints Commission to be given the chance to prove themselves as a way to regulate the Press.

John McLellan was speaking on the eve of a report into Press standards being issued tomorrow by Lord Justice Leveson, who presided over an inquiry set up in the wake of allegations of phone hacking by the News of the World, which was closed down last year.

McLellan told Newsnight Scotland that recommendations by Lord Hunt would produce a much tougher system of Press regulation, tougher even than the Irish Press Council which was being mooted yesterday by First Minister, Alex Salmond, as a possible model of regulation.

Press regulation is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, meaning there is no guarantee Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations will be implemented in Scotland.

McLellan said he had no idea what the Leveson report will recommend, adding: “All I can say is I hope the changes proposed by Lord Hunt have a chance to prove themselves.”

Hunt was appointed chair of the PCC in October last year, three months after Prime Minister, David Cameron, ordered the setting up of the Leveson Inquiry.

His position is for continued self-regulation but a tougher body replacing the PCC, one that can carry out investigations into possible breaches and issue fines.

McLellan is director of communications at the Scottish Conservatives. He was speaking in a personal capacity, including as a former member of the Press Complaints Commission.