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Britain holding off on media regulation plans

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with scientists before opening the 'Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery' at Oxford University, England, Friday May 3, 2013. David Cameron's Conservative Party has taken a drubbing in local elections amid a surge of support for an anti-European Union and anti-immigration party. (AP Photo/PA, Oli Scarff) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE

LONDON (AP) -- British officials are holding off on plans for a state-backed media watchdog, the first sign that opposition from the newspaper industry is slowing down efforts to more closely regulate the country's scandal-tainted press.

Prime Minister David Cameron's office said Friday it was temporarily delaying the presentation of its plan for a new, government-backed regulator to give officials more time to examine an alternative proposal being floated by Britain's newspaper industry.

The question of how best to police the U.K. press has been debated since the phone hacking scandal erupted in 2011, exposing a culture of breaking laws, corruption and cover-up at the highest levels of British journalism.

Politicians have endorsed tighter regulation, but newspapers are resisting it by promoting their own, more media-friendly plan.