British politicians strike press regulation deal

LONDON – British politicians say they’ve struck a last-minute deal over press regulation, unveiling a new code meant to curb the worst abuses of the country’s scandal-tarred media.

The code follows days of debate over how to implement the recommendations of Lord Justice Brian Leveson, the senior judge tasked by politicians with cleaning up a newspaper industry plunged into crisis by revelations of widespread phone hacking.

Leveson recommended that lawmakers establish an independent media watchdog, but British Prime Minister David Cameron balked at legislation, warning that it threatened press freedom.

On Monday opposition lawmaker Harriet Harman said that a deal had been reached. She said a new watchdog would be set up through a royal charter — executive action — and be independent of both the press and politicians.

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