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Madeleine McCann's parents win place on 'phone hacking' victims inquiry panel

Original Source:  LIVERPOOL POST: 15 SEPTEMBER 2011
Liverpool Daily Post  Sep 15 2011

THE parents of Madeleine McCann, actor Hugh Grant, and Harry Potter creator JK Rowling have been named as core participants in the first stage of the inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal.


Liverpool-born Kate McCann, and her husband, Gerry, are among a group of ?victims? who will be represented by a barrister and have the right to seek to cross- examine witnesses and make opening and closing statements.


The group also includes Formula 1 boss Max Mosley; Chris Jefferies, the former landlord of alleged murder victim Jo Yeates; ex-England and Everton footballer Paul Gascoigne; and Bob and Sally Dowler, the parents of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.


Core participant status was granted by Lord Justice Leveson who will preside over the inquiry, the first part of which will look at the culture, ethics and practices of the press and its relationship with the police and politicians.


Although participants have the right to seek to cross- examine, Lord Justice Leveson said he anticipated he would ?significantly limit (if not refuse) such applications''.


He added he might also allow non-core participants to make written closing submissions.


Others given the core participant (CP) status include serving Members of Parliament ? Chris Bryant, Tessa Jowell, Simon Hughes and Denis MacShane, and former MPs such as Lord Prescott and Mark Oaten.


Actress Sienna Miller, PR guru Max Clifford, and model Abi Titmuss were also listed as core participants along with football agent Sky Andrew, Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati and Christopher Shipman, son of mass murderer Harold Shipman.

The inquiry would not be complete without involvement from media groups and core participation status was given to News International Group Ltd (owner of the News of the World, the Sun, The Times and Sunday Times), Northern and Shell Network (owner of the Express and Star titles), Guardian News and Media (for the Guardian and Observer) and Associated Newspapers (for the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday).

The Metropolitan Police was also given the status.

One surprise omission from the list was Rebekah Brooks, former editor of The Sun, The News of the World and chief executive officer of News International.

Mrs Brooks had asked for CP status, but was refused by Lord Justice Leveson, who said her involvement was more focused on the second part of the inquiry.

Liverpool-born Lord Justice Leveson, chairman of the Sentencing Council, said he was prepared to reconsider her status at any stage. The Leveson Inquiry is expected to last for several months and aims to produce a report within a year


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