Lord Justice Leveson in October 2012 [Reuters].

Britain's three main political parties have reached an agreement on a Royal Charter for press regulation, according to the BBC.

Early reports suggest that the new Charter, which follows months of wrangling, could be formally ratified by the end of this month when it is put before the Privy Council.

The agreement was broked by Culture Secretary Maria Miller, Shadow Culture Secretary Harriet Harman and Lord Wallace, a Lord-in-waiting representing the Liberal Democrats.

The provisions of the Charter differ only slightly from those which were agreed by the political parties in March. Those wishing to bring a complaint via the new arbitration system will be charged for doing so, to ensure that "claim farmers" do not abuse the system.

Meanwhile the composition of the body which will draw up the new code of standards for journalists has been tweaked. The Charter proposes a body in which "serving editors have an important part to play... although not one that is decisive."

Local and regional newspapers will also be able to opt out of the new scheme, the BBC claims.

The Charter is inspired by the Leveson Report in November 2012, providing a blueprint for regulation of the British press following a string of scandals including the hacking of murdered teenager Milly Dowler's phone.

Leveson recommended a new regulatory body, overseen by Ofcom and underpinned by statute, although he was keen to stress that his report did not amount to statutory legislation of the press.