By Ray Fleming

What has happened to the deadlock over implementation of a new regulation system for the British press following the recommendations made by Lord Leveson, in his inquiry report last year? Everything has gone very quiet but it seems fairly clear that there has been no progress towards a settlement that would be acceptable to both the press as a whole and the Hacked Off lobby, which claims to represent the interests of victims of press abuse. In a typical rush of blood to the head, David Cameron, took a strong line for a few weeks but then delegated responsibility -- although not, apparently to his new Culture and Media Secretary, Maria Miller.

This week the editor of the Financial Times, Lionel Barber, has suggested to the Commons Media Select Committee that Lord Grade, the former head of ITV and BBC, should be asked to find a solution that would break the current impasse. That is a welcome initiative even if Lord Grade, might not be everyone's choice. As it happens during the past few months, Britain's quality press has shown in a variety of ways what an important role it plays in exposing wrong-doing at home and abroad through first-class investigative journalism and bold reporting. This is a benefit that only a free press can bring and it must not be lost in the slightest degree, in any new press regulations.