BRITISH newspaper and magazine publishers accused the country's ministers of "rushing through" statutory regulation of the press as senior judges threw out a last-minute legal challenge.
UK High Court judges rejected an application by publishers that would have forced a delay to a decision to finalise a new press regulator.
A further emergency application was rejected by the Court of Appeal just as Britain's privy counsellors were beginning their historic meeting, which agreed to impose state regulation on the press for the first time in more than 300 years.
Court of Appeal judges said they would not grant a temporary injunction. It leaves open the possibility of the industry mounting an unprecedented challenge to a privy council decision.
The new set of press rules – written by politicians and media campaigners – has been strongly criticised by the newspaper industry and by civil liberties campaigners, who say the prospect of politicians forcing their own rules on journalists poses a threat to free speech.
Earlier, Richard Gordon QC, for the Press Standards Board of Finance, said: "This was in all but name an executive roller-coasting through a charter which was one that the government saw perhaps as the best way of implementing the Leveson recommendations."