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Architect of UK's new press regulator to leave his role

ONE of the architects of the UK's new press regulator will step back from the new system once it is established, he will tell newspaper executives.

Lord Black of Brentwood, a former director of the Press Complaints Commission, who has been a central figure in the construction of the Independent Press Standards Organisation, is expected to tell a conference of the Scottish Newspaper Society today he will play no further role once the regulatory bodies are at work.

He will tell an audience at the Radisson Blu hotel in Glasgow that he will instead concentrate on fighting the threats to press freedom from within the government and from the European Union.

He will say: "The threats to our freedoms, from both a UK Government perspective but also from the EU, are now so severe, and the political environment so hostile, that I need to concentrate on tackling them, along with other colleagues throughout the industry."

First Minister Alex Salmond will also address delegates at the conference, which is being held for the first time and is in association with First ScotRail.

SNS director John McLellan said: "Lord Black has been pivotal in the fight to maintain press freedom and a key figure in press regulation so his speech today marks an important moment in the next phase of its development."

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