AN overwhelming majority of people want politicians to have no role in press regulation, according to a new poll which backs industry plans for a framework created by an independent Royal Charter.

The survey showed 67% of those polled believed "the new press regulation system should be set up in a way that does not give politicians the final say if and when changes need to be made".

Only 16% backed the Government's plan to create a regulatory framework using a Royal Charter, which could be changed at any time by parliament if MPs wished to alter the press regulator's remit.

The findings came as MSPs voted unanimously to extend the Government's Royal Charter to Scotland, creating a UK-wide system of regulation if it gets the go-ahead.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said she was optimistic it would work, despite a report drawn up for the Scottish Government by former solicitor general Lord McCluskey which recommended a tougher system of compulsory regulation north of the Border.

The poll of 1000 adults, conducted by Survation, found 76% believed plans for press regulation should go out to public consultation. A further 54% wanted "a new tough system of press regulation set in place as soon as possible".

The Newspaper Society, which represents publishers south of the Border and which commissioned the poll, said the industry's plan was the only way to put new regulation in place quickly.

Damian Lyons Lowe, chief executive of Survation said: "The public are clear that a new system of tough, industry-financed press regulation is desired. About 76% want to be consulted on the structure of the Royal Charter and only 16% want politicians to have the final say if changes need to be made in future."

The Government published its Royal Charter – similar to the legal documents used to establish the BBC and universities – on March 18. It would create a system in which a new independent regulator, with powers to fine papers up to £1 million, was sanctioned by a "recognition" body ensuring the watchdog carried out its job in line with the recommendations of the Leveson inquiry into malpractice in some sections of the press.

However, most news publishers have rejected the proposal, which was described as "state-sponsored regulation" by the Newspaper Society. Publishers issued an alternative Royal Charter last week.

Their system would remove parliament's powers to interfere with the remit of the regulator. It would also allow former news-paper editors to sit on the recognition panel. However the new watchdog could still impose fines of £1m and direct papers to print apologies prominently.

The industry's plan has been backed by trade bodies, including the Scottish Newspaper Society.