Former judge to head new press panel

March 8, 2013 at 2:02 AM
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LONDON, March 8 (UPI) -- A former president of the British Supreme Court has been selected to head a panel to set up a successor to the Press Complaints Commission.

David Hunt, the current head of the PCC, was to make the formal announcement of the appointment of Nicholas Phillips in a speech Thursday in Bristol, The Independent reported.

"This is the beginning of the fresh start we so desperately need," Hunt said.

British media, especially newspapers, have been under fire because of the phone-hacking scandal. The venerable Sunday newspaper News of the World had been dealing with allegations of hacking into the cellphones of celebrities and members of the royal family but the scandal exploded in 2011 with the revelation that a detective working for the newspaper hacked into the phone of Milly Dowler, a school girl who vanished in 2002 and was later found killed.

Phillips, 75, sits in the House of Lords as Baron Phillips of Maltravers. His responsibilities as head of a foundation group are to select the members of a body to succeed the PCC.

The appointment comes during parliamentary debate on implementing the recommendations of an investigative commission.

Hunt, who also sits in the House of Lords, called Phillips "a man of complete integrity."

"He is also a person of independent mind, completely his own man and possessed of a remarkably sharp intellect and robust common sense," Hunt added.

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