The Press Complaints Commission appoints three new public members


The Press Complaints Commission (PCC), an independent body which administers the system of self-regulation for the press in UK, has announced the appointment of three new public members of the Commission. The three appointments are Lord Grade of Yarmouth, His Honour Judge Jeremy Roberts QC and Michael Smyth CBE.


The PCC’s Nominations Committee recommended their appointment after an open process following the recommendations made in the PCC’s recent independent Governance Review. The PCC received almost three thousand applications for the positions after a wide advertising campaign supported by the press, and approved their appointment at a meeting last week.

Lord Grade is a former BBC Chairman, Executive Chairman of ITV plc and Chief Executive of Channel 4. Michael Smyth has recently retired from his post as a Senior Partner at Clifford Chance where he headed the public policy practice and led its pro bono activities (for which he was awarded a CBE). He is also Chairman of Public Concern at Work, the UK’s whistle blowing charity. Jeremy Roberts is currently a Permanent Judge at the Central Criminal Court, and sits in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), as well as being a member of the Parole Board.

Lord Grade and Michael Smyth will take up their places as Commissioners shortly and Jeremy Roberts will join at the end of May. Each will serve for period of three years.

Commenting on their appointments Baroness Buscombe, Chairman of the PCC, said, “The Commission has been very pleased at the level of interest shown in its role and its work and the very high quality of the applications received. These are important and significant appointments for the PCC. We are delighted to be able to appoint these three substantial figures from such a strong field and I am confident that all three will do much to contribute to the work of the PCC and will help ensure that the reputation and credibility of the PCC remains strong.”

On the announcement of their appointments:

Lord Grade said: “I am very pleased to have been selected to serve on the PCC.   I hope that my long experience as a broadcaster and publisher will assist the Commission in their key regulatory role.”

His Honour Judge Jeremy Roberts QC said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the important task of resolving some of the tensions which sometimes arise between the freedom of the press and the legitimate rights of individual members of the public.”

Michael Smyth CBE said: “I am delighted to be joining the PCC at an important stage in its development and hope my knowledge of issues affecting access to justice will assist in its work.”


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