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The government’s decision to omit council-run newspapers such as Tower Hamlets’ East End Life from new press regulations has been slammed by a local MP.

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Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick criticised government guidelines which show town hall publications will not be covered by the Royal Charter, designed to regulate newspapers’ conduct.

He said: “East End Life has become too big and too bias. Hand delivered to nearly every household in the borough it enjoys a privileged position without any real oversight.

“For this reason it’s important that council newspapers such as East End Life feature in the Leveson debate”, added the Labour MP.

The Royal Charter will apply to independent newspapers, prompting the Newspaper Society to voice fears that local newspapers could be crippled by the new damages they could face.

But ministers justified their decision by reaffirming their intention to pass laws to ban council newspapers.

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