Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock Conservative MP Bill Grant has welcomed the defeat of proposed amendments to the Data Protection Bill.
The amendments, supported by MP Tom Watson and former Labour party leader Ed Milliband, would have made newspaper publishers liable to pay all costs in data protection disputes regardless of the outcome.
The amendment was drawn up to try and force local and regional papers to sign up to the state-backed industry regulator IMPRESS. Many local and regional newspaper publishers have opted to sign up to the independent regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).
Bill Grant believed that the implications of having to pay for claimants’ cases - win or lose - would have caused many local titles to go out of business due to increased cost in legal fees.
He said: “Local newspapers are the lifeblood of communities. The amendment put forward by Labour was a serious threat to their existence, it was right they dropped this ridiculous amendment.
“There has already been a down turn in advertising through local papers and increased use of social media for news has presented the industry with immense challenges. Introducing any further unwanted and unnecessary regulation would have only obstructed publishers further.”
“We should be doing everything to support local newspapers instead of burdening them with additional regulation and cost and that is why I could never have supported the amendment. I will continue to stand up for local press in Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock.”