Evening Standard and Independent could face inquiry over Saudi funds

Culture secretary will decide this month whether regulators should look into deal

The Evening Standard and the Independent could face a government investigation into whether they can accurately present news and guarantee freedom of expression after a mysterious Saudi investor bought substantial stakes.

The culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, said he had was minded to order regulators to look into the sale of 30% holdings in the two news outlets by their Russian owner, Evgeny Lebedev, on public interest grounds. A final decision will be made by the end of the month.

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