PCC hands Britain's US ambassador top job as its chairman

Britain's ambassador to the US, Sir Christopher Meyer, has been recalled to the UK to become the Press Complaints Commission's new chairman.

Meyer will take up the post in March, filling the vacancy left open by the resignation of Lord Wakeham (because of his involvement in the Enron scandal) earlier this year. The PCC's privacy commissioner, Professor Robert Pinker, has filled in as the acting chairman since Lord Wakeham left.

Meyer, 58, is a career diplomat who was the chief press secretary to John Major during Major's term as prime minister in the mid-90s. He has served as the ambassador to the US since 1997 and is regarded as an architect of the strong relationship between Tony Blair and president George Bush.

He takes over at the PCC at a turbulent time. Besides his role at Enron, Wakeham was also criticised in some quarters for being too lenient when dealing with complaints of press intrusion.

However, Meyer will be keen to continue the accord with the judiciary that has seen no court actions involving privacy since the Sunday People won a case against the footballer Garry Flitcroft earlier this year.

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