Columnist predicts First Minister will move away from ‘legislative response’ to Leveson recommendations

THE chances of Scotland having its own independent Press regulator, whose existence is underpinned by law, may soon evaporate – predicts a columnist on Scotland on Sunday.

Says Euan McColm, First Minister, Alex Salmond, has already appeared to step back from initial bullishness about adopting in Scotland the central recommendation of the Leveson report on Press standards: an independent regulator underpinned by statute.

The Leveson Inquiry was set up last year following phone-hacking allegations that were to result in the News of the World newspaper being closed. Regulation of the Press is a devolved matter, meaning Scotland could go adopt its own response to Leveson’s report and recommendations, which were published a week last Thursday.

Writes McColm: “Those around the First Minister think the worst of the Leveson story will have played out by the end of the year. If there is less public anger about the Press in general, watch Salmond move further still from offering a legislative response. The First Minister – along with all mainstream party leaders – wants to return to business as usual with the Press as soon as possible. Yes, they want to be seen to be taking on the scum. But they’d rather like those same scum, especially the ones with large readerships, to endorse them at the 2016 Holyrood election.”