Europe: United Kingdom

Current Status: active

Press Councils


Walter Merricks (Chairman)

83 Victoria Street



Tel: +44 20 3585 4160



The IMPRESS Standards code:



A society which can expect decent standards from its press. Where publishers have the freedom to report stories in the public interest without fear of retribution from those with more political or financial power. Where people who are harmed by the press can get redress without the risk of huge legal costs. And where truly independent press regulation – without influence from government or business – can build a sense of trust between the public and the press.

What do we do

We are blazing a trail for a fairer, better kind of press regulation. We award a trusted journalism mark to news publishers who meet our standards. We give these publishers the freedom to report hard-hitting stories, and ensure they behave fairly if complaints are made against them. We have the power to decide on complaints which publishers cannot resolve.


Ofcom: Broadcast Regulator

Dame Patricia Hodgson (Chairman)

The Baroness Noakes DBE (Deputy Chair)

Ofcom Riverside House 
2a Southwark Bridge Road 
London SE1 9HA

Tel: (+44) 0300 123 3333



Ofcom is the communications regulator in the UK. 

We regulate the TV, radio and video on demand sectors, fixed line telecoms, mobiles, postal services, plus the airwaves over which wireless devices operate. 

We make sure that people in the UK get the best from their communications services and are protected from scams and sharp practices, while ensuring that competition can thrive. 

Ofcom operates under a number of Acts of Parliament, including in particular the Communications Act 2003. Ofcom must act within the powers and duties set for it by Parliament in legislation. 

The Communications Act says that Ofcom’s principal duty is to further the interests of citizens and of consumers, where appropriate by promoting competition. Meeting this duty is at the heart of everything we do. 

Accountable to Parliament, we set and enforce regulatory rules for the sectors for which we have responsibility. We also have powers to enforce competition law in those sectors, alongside the Competition and Markets Authority. 

Ofcom is funded by fees from industry for regulating broadcasting and communications networks, and grant-in-aid from the Government.

Ofcom’s role includes securing: 

  • the optimal use for wireless telegraphy of the electro-magnetic spectrum;
  • that a wide range of electronic communications services is available throughout the UK;
  • that a wide range of TV and radio services of high quality and wide appeal are available throughout the UK;
  • that sufficient plurality in the providers of different television and radio services is maintained;
  • the application of standards that provide adequate protection for members of the public and others against offensive or harmful material in television and radio;
  • the application of standards that provide adequate protection for members of the public and others against unfair treatment in television and radio programmes and unwarranted infringements of privacy resulting from activities carried on for the purposes of such television and radio services; and
  • the application of standards that provide adequate protection for viewers of video on demand services from harmful content.


Independent Press Standards Organisation: Print Regulator

Sir Alan Moses (Chairman)

Anne Lapping (deputy chair)

Gate House
1 Farringdon Street
London EC4M 7LG 
Tel: (+44) 0300 123 2220



The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) is the independent regulator of the newspaper and magazine industry. We exist to promote and uphold the highest professional standards of journalism in the UK, and to support members of the public in seeking redress where they believe that the Editors' Code of Practice has been breached. We are able to consider concerns about editorial content in newspapers and magazines, and about the conduct of journalists.

We administer the Editors' Code of Practice and take active steps to ensure that publications adhere to it. The Editors' Code deals with issues such as accuracy, invasion of privacy, intrusion into grief or shock and harassment.

We handle complaints, and conduct our own investigations into editorial standards and compliance. We also undertake monitoring work, including by requiring publications to submit annual compliance reports. IPSO has the power, where necessary, to require the publication of prominent corrections and critical adjudications, and may ultimately fine publications in cases where failings are particularly serious and systemic.

IPSO is here to serve the public by holding publications to account for their actions. We will strive to protect individual rights, and by upholding high standards of professional conduct, will help maintain freedom of expression for the press.


Updated: 22/08/2017

Outdated Information

The Press Complaints Commission closed on 8 September 2014 and has been replaced by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).

The Press Complaints Commission

Sir Christopher Meyer (Chair); Tim Toulmin (Director)

Halton House

20/23 High Holborn

London EC1N 2JD

Tel: 44 207 831 0022

Fax: 44 207 831 0025



The Press Complaints Commission is an independent body which deals with complaints from members of the public about the editorial content of newspapers and magazines. Our service to the public is free, quick and easy. We aim to deal with most complaints in just 32 working days — and there is absolutely no cost to the people complaining.

The PCC completed the investigation of 2,630 complaints in 2002 — of which about six out of ten were about accuracy in reporting. Nearly one in four related to intrusion into privacy of some sort. All complaints are investigated under the editors' Code of Practice, which binds all national and regional newspapers and magazines.

The Code — drawn up by editors themselves — covers the way in which news is gathered and reported. It also provides special protection to particularly vulnerable groups of people such as children, hospital patients and those at risk of discrimination.

Our main aim with any complaint which raises a possible breach of the Code of Practice is always to resolve it as quickly as possible. Because of our success in this, the Commission had to adjudicate on only 36 complaints in 2002 —the lowest ever number. That is a sign not of the weakness of self regulation — but its strength. All those which were critical of a newspaper were published in full and with due prominence by the publication concerned.

As well as dealing with complaints, the PCC deals with a substantial number of calls from members of the public about our service and about the Code. In 2002 we dealt with approximately 7,250 enquiries by telephone, fax and email. This is an encouraging sign of the accessibility of the Commission to members of the public.

The success of the PCC continues to underline the strength of effective and independent self regulation over any form of legal or statutory control. Legal controls would be useless to those members of the public who could not afford legal action - and would mean protracted delays before complainants received redress. In our system of self regulation, effective redress is free and quick.

Last Update - Aug 2006