Small Christian groups saved from Leveson regulation

Small Christian groups which publish news alongside their main work have been saved from being caught by plans for regulating the press.

The groups could have been at risk of coming under burdensome regulation, or exposed to sky-high financial damages because of their news coverage.

But thanks to a last-minute amendment, groups with an annual turnover not exceeding £2 million and fewer than 10 employees will not be affected.


It had already been proposed that charities would be exempt, but some Christian groups fell outside that category.

However, Christian organisations that exist mainly to publish news are likely to be caught by the new legislation.

It means they can choose to join a new regulatory body and be bound by its adjudications and penalties.


Or they can choose not to do so but they risk being exposed to very large financial penalties being imposed on them in court if someone brings a successful legal action.

The new regulatory regime is the result of the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics sparked by the phone-hacking scandal.

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge said: “Many people were rightly outraged at the conduct of some in the popular press.


“But we had a number of concerns about the free speech implications of the new regulatory system.

“Opponents of Christianity may have used the system to intimidate and silence small Christian groups that publish news alongside their main work.

“We made representation to those involved in the plans, and we are pleased that many of our concerns have been addressed.”