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THE MAJORITY of people in the UK have come out on the side of the Oxford Mail in the battle for press freedom.

Just four per cent of people surveyed in a national YouGov poll said a press regulator should be funded by wealthy individuals and trusts, along the lines of the Impress regulator currently funded by disgraced former motor racing boss Max Mosley which just a handful of newspapers have signed up to.

Meanwhile, 49 per cent agreed with the view supported by the Oxford Mail, and the majority of the industry, that a regulator should be funded by the newspaper industry itself, as the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) already is.

The result comes as Culture Secretary Karen Bradley is holding a national consultation on press regulation.

At the heart of the debate is whether the Government should implement section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act.

Under this article, newspapers which refuse to sign up to a state-backed regulator such as Impress would be forced to pay the costs in libel cases, even if they won.

Most newspapers agree the punitive costs of fighting such cases, which would effectively make it free for anyone in the UK to bring a libel case against a newspaper, would force some newspapers to close.

Ms Bradley's consultation closes on Tuesday.

We ask any of our readers who care about press freedom to respond to the consultation here