Rolling coverage after the
first day of the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics and phone hacking
where the families of Milly Dowler and Madeleine McCann were due to give
• Leveson Inquiry: live
• Counsel Robert Jay QC: hacking is 'thriving cottage industry'
• Jay: 28 NI journalists may have worked with Glenn Mulcaire
• Leveson Inquiry: newspapers warned not to target witnesses
• Sun and Mirror reporters dragged into hacking inquiry
• More than 50 core participants, including Milly Dowler's family
18.00 We're going to end our coverage of the Leveson Inquiry for today.
Join us tomorrow morning for live news, reaction and analysis from the
inquiry, which starts again at 10am at the Royal Courts of Justice.
For our full coverage and stories from today's proceedings, visit our
Leveson Inquiry and phone hacking archives.
17.55 Another snippet from the Society of Editors conference, which was
running alongside the Leveson Inquiry today.
Richard Caseby, managing editor of The Sun, said the paper technically
breached the Bribery Act as it helped to secure the first conviction
under the new legislation.
The paper paid Munir Yakub Patel £500, in exchange for which he used his
job as an admin clerk at Redbridge Magistrates' Court to avoid putting
details of a traffic summons offence on a court database.
Caseby urged Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke to consider bringing in a
public interest defence to the Bribery Act 2010, saying the current laws
left his reporters open to prosecution.
But Mr Clarke ruled out the move, saying the director of public
prosecutions Keir Starmer QC would simply dismiss any cases where
prosecution was not in the public interest.
The Sun was mentioned by Robert Jay QC at today's hearing
17.52 Our video team have sent this clip of those revelations about
Glenn Mulcaire's notebook:
17.48 Sticking with the Daily Mail, tomorrow the inquiry will hear from
Jonathan Caplan QC, the barrister for Associated Newspapers.
According to his professional profile, Caplan, who has more than 20
years' experience as a silk, specialises in fraud, corporate liability
and media law.
He is described as "one of the most popular performers at the Criminal
Bar", who "can hold a jury in the palm of his hand"
Tomorrow the inquiry will hear from representatives for the Daily Mail
17.40 Liz Hartley, head of editorial legal services at Associated
Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail, has criticised the two-part
Leveson Inquiry for starting before the police investigation into
hacking has been completed.
Speaking at the Society of Editors conference, she said she could not
think of "any other inquiry trying to tackle a problem that you can't
define", the Guardian reports.
Lord Justice Leveson had to find a narrative to what are perceived to be
problems in the media.. So far it seems to be a one-horse race.. It is
not possible to get to the bottom of News International's actions
because the criminal inquiries have not been completed.
Paul Dacre, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail, spoke at the Leveson
17.30 Here is a quick round-up of the main points to come out of today's
• Robert Jay QC said phone hacking was a "thriving cottage industry" at
• He said the names of 28 NI journalists were found in the notebooks of
private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who carried out over 2,000 covert
activities for just four reporters
• The names of Sun and Daily Mirror journalists were also found in
Mulcaire's notebooks, Jay said
• Tougher press regulation may be needed, Jay said, adding that the PCC
"needs more teeth"
• The Leveson Inquiry will not be confined to phone hacking but will
look at all aspects of media ethics
• Witnesses, including 'fake sheikh' Mazher Mahmood, and core
participants will start giving evidence next Monday
• Newspapers were warned not to target witnesses, particularly
journalists who speak out about employers
• Lord Justice Leveson said the main aim of the inquiry is to find out
"who guards the guardians?"
• Neil Garnham QC, acting for the Met Police, said the force would
assist the inquiry to ensure a "healthy relationship" between police and
the press in future
Lord Justice Leveson has completed the first day of his inquiry
17.10 While barristers and witnesses will address Lord Justice Leveson
in their evidence in Part One of this inquiry, don't forget about his
team of advisers who will be present at the RCJ throughout.
Here is our guide to the panel of six experts who will assist him in his
decisions and recommendations.
17.01 Here's a clip from our video team showing Neil Garnham QC,
barrister for the Met Police, saying the force wants to learn from its
past errors and assist the Leveson Inquiry:
16.44 While all eyes have been on the Leveson Inquiry today, two other
important media events have been taking place.
MPs sitting on the Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions have heard
from a number of prolific bloggers, including Paul Staines (Guido
Fawkes), Jamie East (Holy Moly) and David Allen Green (Jack of Kent).
It is also the second day of the annual Society of Editors conference,
which today heard from Ken Clarke.
Labour MP Tom Watson cancelled his appearance at the conference to seek
advice from the Speaker John Bercow after claims that he was among a
number of MPs put under surveillance by the News of the World in 2009.
Media commentator Roy Greenslade said the newspaper had used private
investigators and journalists to trail "every member" of the Culture
The surveillance was ordered by a "senior executive" and continued for
between three and 10 days, he told Sky News.
Tom Watson was one of the MPs to quiz NI chairman James Murdoch
16.25 Lord Justice Leveson said a full transcript of today's evidence
will be published online before the end of the day. We'll let you know
as soon as it goes up.
A full list of witnesses who will be called to the RCJ from next Monday
will also be published. This list is expected to cover witnesses up
until November 28, with a complete list going online later this week.
Christopher Jefferies, former landlord of Joanna Yeates, will give
16.19 The Guardian's James Robinson tweets his reaction from today's
That's it until tomorrow. fascinating detail on scale of alleged NI
involvement from Inquiry QC. incredibly damaging, in my view #Leveson.
16.10 In case you missed it, here's a video of Robert Jay QC saying
hacking at the News of the World was unlikely to be confined to a
"single rogue reporter":
15.58 Lord Justice Leveson has brought the hearing to a close for the
day. It will resume tomorrow morning at 10am. Stay tuned in the meantime
for more comment and reaction.
15.50 Neil Garnham QC ends his submissions with a round-up of the main
risks in the relationships between press and the MPS, for example
He says the force has made a number of changes, adding:
We acknowledge that not all the MPS's relationships with the press in
the past have met the requirements of being ethical and transparent.
15.48 Stepping outside Court 73 for a minute, news that former Met
assistant commissioner John Yates has been cleared of misconduct by the
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
He was investigated in the wake of the summer phone hacking scandal,
amid allegations that the force's inquiry into illegal activities at the
News of the World was inadequate.
Yates said he was "extremely pleased that the IPCC have cleared me of
all misconduct matters". He added:
As I stated at the time of my resignation, I acted with complete
integrity and my conscience is clear. It is a matter of great regret
that these referrals forced my premature resignation.
Former Met assistant commissioner John Yates resigned in July
15.44 Mr Garnham addresses the allegations of police payments and
collusion in the phone hacking scandal:
We would suggest that a society in which there is no contact between
police and the press would be unhealthy and potentially undemocratic.
A healthy relationship between press and police can be mutually
beneficial, but too close a relationship - we would suggest - can
distort judgement by both parties.
15.35 Neil Garnham QC is setting out the Metropolitan Police's role and
involvement in the inquiry.
He tells Lord Justice Leveson:
The MPS will not adopt a defensive stance. It stands ready to assist you
in your work and to learn from any errors the inquiry may reveal. The
MPS has not been content, however, to sit back and await the outcome of
your work. It has already taken a number of steps to point out any
deficiencies in its work and learn from the error.
The Metropolitan Police are still investigating phone hacking claims
15.20 Mr Sherborne has interrupted the hearing to say he has received an
alert to say there is a "trojan horse" computer virus on his intranet in
He tells Lord Justice Leveson he has a large amount of confidential
information on his computer and asks permission to rise to sort the
A few laughs in the courtroom as he says the threat is in "big red
letters much like the font used by the News of the World".
The BBC's Ross Hawkins tweets:
Inquiry now reading computer error messages. #leveson sounding a little
like IT support. Leveson decides to move on
15.15 The hearing has resumed. Neil Garnham, acting for the Metropolitan
Police, will give evidence first.
Associated Newspapers' lawyer Jonathan Caplan will speak tomorrow
morning, as well as a representative from the Daily Telegraph.
On Wednesday, the inquiry will hear from the NUJ General Secretary at
10am, followed by Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger at 11am, and then
David Sherborne, acting for a group of phone hacking and other victims.
15.08 James Kirkup, the Telegraph's deputy political editor, is tweeting
live from the RCJ on the first day of the Leveson Inquiry.
He says Robert Jay QC's afternoon session started like a "tutorial on
media law", adding:
#Leveson Jay makes Freudian slip? 'The extent to which the public acts
collusively with the Press.' (He meant police, not public)
15.00 The FT's Ben Fenton summarises the order of events in Part One of
the inquiry over the coming months:
1st #leveson witnesses will be victims. Then people in Motorman. Then
critcs of the press. Then press themselves. Then BBC and broadcasters.
14.55 Jay seems to be bringing his opening remarks to a close. He says:
The unaccountable power of the press, or the appearance of it, is a
consistent theme here.
He says the inquiry will hear from witnesses first, then a number of
newspaper reporters and proprietors who are counted among the "core
participants" of the inquiry.
Another short break in the proceedings - the hearing will resume in 15
14.50 Chris Bryant, the Labour MP, has been following today's hearing.
Jay QC says no journalists have argued hacking was ok. But Kelvin
Mckenzie certainly did. And many poo pooed the issue. #Leveson
Kelvin McKenzie, former editor of the Sun, arrives at one of the Leveson
14.42 Robert Jay QC continues on the PCC Editors' Code of Practice:
The truth is, both the public and politicians seem to have lost faith in
it. Its work is largely done behind the scenes and the public cannot
fully assess its role. That is the nature of the beast.
However, limited resources of the PCC mean that it cannot afford to
probe, and it cannot require a newspaper to print an apology on the same
page as an offending article, neither does it have the power to fine
papers nor order them to pay compensation.
This leads to the impression that it has no teeth, and in the face of
the current situation, something altogether sharper is required.
14.30 The inquiry is now looking at the legal issues involved in a
series of recent privacy cases, including those of Sir Paul McCartney
and Sienna Miller.
After a few technical issues, Jay is going through the Press Complaints
Commission's Code of Practice on a screen in the courtroom.
Here's the full 16-point Editors' Code of Practice outlined by the PCC.
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney launched a privacy action after press
14.25 Robert Jay QC runs through a list of measures all newspapers
should have in place to ensure high ethical standards. These include:
• Rule books
• Codes of practice
• Training and internal seminars
• Proper in-house legal advisers
• Accounting systems for cash payments
• Proper whistelblowing policies
14.20 Ben Fenton of the FT tweets:
Jay tells #leveson that failure to prosecute journalists, or more
journalists, may be why NotW culture of illegality arose.
14.15 Jay says the inquiry will deal with the law of privacy, which
balances Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Article 8 is the right to respect for private and family life, while
Article 10 secures freedom of expression.
Phone hacking is not in accordance to the law. It follows that in the
issue of the Article 8 and Article 10 interception, privacy will always
win out in the case of phone hacking.
Key privacy cases to date include those of model Naomi Campbell, former
F1 boss Max Mosley and footballer Rio Ferdinand.
14.07 Lord Justice Leveson interrupts Jay to tell him he should not make
pronouncements on the interpretation of s.2(7) of RIPA, which covers the
meaning and interpretation of "interception".
Titters from the courtroom as he says that although Jay's words are
"persuasive and interesting", he cannot make definitive remarks on
matters of legal interpretation.
Here's a link to the full text of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers
14.04 Robert Jay QC has reopened the afternoon's inquiry.
He starts with phone hacking and the current regulatory system:
Phone hacking is an offence under RIPA (the Regulatory and Investigative
Powers Act), as it was under the 1985 Act. The act covers the
interception of any communications, including postal communications.
He returns to Glenn Mulcaire, Clive Goodman and allegations of hacking
and voicemail interception at NotW.
Lord Justice Leveson continues to preside over the inquiry
13.55 Just a few minutes to go now until this afternoon's inquiry
For anyone who missed this morning's session, here's a Q & A reminder of
what the Leveson Inquiry is all about.
13.35 Josh Halliday, reporter at the Guardian, has tweeted the following
about Jay's suggestion that Mulcaire's notebook contained the name of a
Daily Mirror reporter:
Trinity Mirror says it has no knowledge of ever using Glenn Mulcaire
13.20 Here's our profile of Lord Justice Leveson, the man behind today's
13.10 Meanwhile, we have put together a Twitter list of journalists,
MPs, campaigners and others who are covering the Leveson Inquiry. We
will add more names to the list as the inquiry progresses.
13.00 The hearing has stopped for lunch and will resume again at 2pm.
Stay tuned for more analysis and reaction in the meantime.
12.57 Let's have a look at some of those numbers Jay mentioned:
2,266: Number of times Glenn Mulcaire was allegedly tasked with carrying
out private investigations
28: Number of legible corner names in his notebooks
4: Number of journalists who apparently account for 2,143 of the
38: Number of times 'blagging' jobs were carried out by Glenn Mulcaire
586: Number of voicemails, intended for 64 different people,
intercepted by Mulcaire between 2001 and 2009
690: Number of audio recordings police found when they raided
Mulcaire's offices in 2006
318: Number of calls Mulcaire allegedly made to other people's
The police investigation into hacking allegations at News International
12.55 Lots of reaction online to those revelations about Mulcaire's
The Guardian's James Robinson tweets:
Jay: Inquiry seen 'documentary evidence' in Mulcaire notes on Jude Law
'relating to the Mirror'. V significant #leveson
Ben Fenton of the FT writes:
28 legible corner names in Mulcaire notebooks. Wow. Police believe
hacking continued to at least 2009. Started at latest May 2001. #leveson
Actor Jude Law sued The Sun over phone hacking allegations
12.46 While journalists are still enthusiastic about Robert Jay QC's
submissions, wider interest in the Leveson Inquiry seems to be waning.
Sky's James Old tweets:
Only 6 seats currently occupied in the large public area of the #Leveson
12.45 Jay says "it is clear that Goodman was not a rogue reporter". He
says a list of names in Mulcaire's notebook shows that at least another
27 News of the World employees might have been involved in underhand
He describes hacking as "a thriving cottage industry", asking:
Is there a culture of denial - or, even worse, a cover up at News
12.40 Robert Jay QC earlier mentioned the What Price Privacy Now report.
This document detailed the findings of Operation Motorman, the inquiry
in 2006 that found 3,522 suspected cases of illegal access to records by
Here is the What Price Privacy Now report in full:
What Price Privacy
12.31 Jay tells the court about a series of "corner names" written in
Glenn Mulcaire's notebook, believed to be those for whom he was carrying
out his private investigations.
He says they were "A", "B", "C", "I" and "Clive", the latter apparently
representing former News of the World royal reporter Clive Goodman. A
total of 28 names were discovered.
The counsel is looking at the extent to which those within News
International were aware that phone hacking was taking place. He quotes
from the legal opinion of Michael Silverleaf QC, about which News
International chairman James Murdoch was questioned extensively by the
Commons select committee last week.
Here's our coverage of James Murdoch's second appearance before MPs over
the phone hacking scandal.
James Murdoch addresses the Commons select committee last Thursday
12.25 Jay is now addressing the infamous "for Neville" email, said to be
proof that phone hacking had been carried out on behalf of the News of
the World in the case of Gordon Taylor, the chief of the Professional
Footballers' Association, before 2008.
News International has made admissions in about a dozen cases, along the
lines that Glenn Mulcaire accessed voicemails. News International has
accepted vicarious liability for the acts of Mulcaire, but not for the
acts of those within their organisation who tasked or commissioned him.
In the Sienna Miller litigation, he says, News International went
further in their admissions about phone hacking than in any other case.
12.20 The Guardian's James Robinson tweets:
Jay critical of NI over hacking. Says company must have known in '07
that Clive Goodman not only NoW hack commissioning Mulcaire
12.10 He is now speaking about the arrest and trial of Clive Goodman and
Glenn Mulcaire over the News of the World phone hacking allegations in
2006 and 2007.
Goodman, using confidential information supplied by Mulcaire, was jailed
after pleading guilty to unlawfully interception voicemail messages
intended for Princes William and Harry.
He says Mulcaire was being paid £92,000 a year from September 1, 2001,
when he was hired by NotW.
Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire was hired by NotW
12.00 Robert Jay QC has reopened the inquiry.
He is discussing Operation Motorman, the 2003 investigation by the
Information Commissioner's Office into allegations of offences under the
Data Protection Act by the British press.
Operation Motorman uncovered the scale of the use of private
investigators by the press. One journalist requested 679 bits of
information at a cost of £26,000
11.54 Here is a reminder of Lord Justice Leveson explaining that
newspapers will be monitored to ensure witnesses' rights are not being
11.50 The inquiry has taken a short break. Here's a round-up of what's
happened so far:
Inquiry counsel Robert Jay QC is outlining how the Leveson Inquiry will
He praises the investigative work of the Guardian for uncovering phone
hacking at NOTW and The Daily Telegraph for the MPs expenses scandal.
Press warned not to go after witnesses who will appear at the inquiry.
Witnesses are expected to include JK Rowling, Christopher Jefferies and
the parents of Milly Dowler. A good list can be found here.
Unlawful and unethical news-gathering methods will be examined. He calls
phone hacking a form of subterfuge – a practice outlined in the Press
Complaints Commission’s Code of Conduct. He also says the practice of
paying sources for information will be investigated.
He also makes the point that sometimes “blagging” information can be in
the public interest as with the Sunday Times expose on Col Gaddafi’s
funding of the National Union of Miners in the 1980s.
The ‘fake sheikh’ will give evidence. There has been speculation on
Twitter that this may be done from behind a screen to protect his
identity. The ‘fake sheikh’, otherwise known as Mazher Mahmood, was
praised for his work at News of the World uncovering the Pakistani
cricketer match-fixing scandal. However Robert Jay QC also said he would
be questioned about some of his other methods.
Mazher Mahmood wrote a number of undercover stories for the News of the
11.40 Robert Jay QC continues to make his way through his opening file.
He has criticised the original phone hacking case concerning the
interception of Prince Charles' calls in 1989, condemning it as "not
investigative journalism, but a fishing expedition".
He adds that it is up to a newspaper editor to ensure that the means by
which a story is obtained are lawful. He says the key question is:
What does the public interest mean and who judges it?
11.32 The counsel has laid out six different categories of press
misbehaviour that the inquiry will look at:
• Electronic surveillance or intrusion
• Data theft eg. going through bins or stealing diaries
• Agent provocateur
• Payments to witnesses or private investigators
• Phone and email hacking
• Catch-all: "unfair, unethical and underhand" press activities
Phone hacking at the NotW under the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks is just
one part of the inquiry
11.30 Jay is setting out the difference between private detectives,
blagging and subterfuge. He says: "violation of privacy is a common
theme and subterfuge is a common theme" in the press:
The press in common with many institutions including solicitors use
search engines to find pieces of information which are in the public
domain. Private investigators or detectives use different methods to
seek out pieces of information which are not in the public domain.
He says 'fake sheikh' Mazher Mahmood has submitted a witness statement
and will give oral evidence to the inquiry.
11.24 As Jay continues his opening speech, here's a reminder of the
timeline of events leading up to the Leveson Inquiry.
11.22 James Old from Sky News is tweeting live from the inquiry. He
Jay repeatedly uses a "stables cleansed of dung" analogy to explore
whether immoral practices are still going on in the UK press. #Leveson
11.15 Robert Jay QC continues:
The press must be allowed to be opinionated, irascible, sceptical and
He praises The Telegraph's MPs' expenses scoop, as well as The Guardian
for its pursuit of the phone hacking story.
11.07 James Kirkup, our deputy political editor, has written an analysis
of what to expect today.
He says Lord Leveson will have to balance any number of powerful
imperatives and forces including press freedom:
Who watches the watchmen? The question first posed by the Roman poet
Juvenal has hung over every society where power is dispersed between
In Western democracies, some of that power rests with the media, and in
Britain, that still largely means newspapers. For centuries, papers have
had the power to scrutinise, to reveal and to condemn. For politicians,
that power is often irksome and sometimes career-ending.
Many now argue that Britain's free Press has been too free, that the
system of self-regulation has failed and some outside body or authority
must now be created to oversee journalists' activities.
As the cliche says, with power comes responsibility. Has every newspaper
journalist used the power of the Press properly? The closure of the News
of the World gives an obvious answer. But what of the rest of the
The Leveson Inquiry will recommend a new regulatory system for the press
11.01 Jay encourages journalists to speak out against their employers if
they believe media ethics are at risk.
He urges them to find the "moral courage" to whistleblow, adding that
they may be granted anonymity if necessary.
He says Part One of the inquiry will be divided into four modules:
• Press and the public
• Press and the police
• Press and politicians
• Broader policy questions of what changes should be made to the
10.56 Jay continues:
The more it seems that practices are generic and the more widespread
they are, the easier it will be to imply broken practices and the
existence of a culture.
Sometimes the existence of a culture arises from the operation of more
subtle and complex causes, from complacency leading to arrogance. There
is clearly a range of possibilities.
Robert Jay QC is leading counsel to the Leveson Inquiry
10.50 He says the press is "an extraordinary powerful range of
Ben Fenton, media correspondent at the FT, tweets:
Jay says parameters cd not be broader. Not limited to hacking. Cannot
say "no stone unturned" cause if so would be here for 3yrs #leveson
10.45 Robert Jay QC starts his opening speech with a reminder of the
allegations that News International hacked the phone of murdered
schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
The cart has been placed very much before the horse. Part Two of the
inquiry should be taking place before Part One. This inquiry cannot
compel witnesses to answer questions which might incriminate themselves.
It is public knowledge that the police have arrested at least 13
individuals who are suspects in these investigations, and they may
Murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, whose voicemail was allegedly hacked
on behalf of NotW
10.43 Leveson has permitted journalists to tweet "unobtrusively" during
He also says those named among the 46 'core participants' will not be
required to attend during the proceedings, and absence will not be
detrimental to their evidence. He aims to conclude the inquiry by the
end of September 2012.
The inquiry will sit seven days a fortnight - excluding Fridays -
starting at 10am each day.
10.41 Guardian media correspondent James Robinson tweets:
Leveson confirms he has visited Mail, Mirror newsrooms - but also NI.
Last one must have been interesting #leveson
10.36 Lord Justice Leveson says the aim of the inquiry is to find out
"who guards the guardians".
He says concern has been expressed that witness who speak out about
phone hacking or other illegal activities might be targeted:
I have absolutely no wish to stifle freedom of speech or expression, but
I anticipate that monitoring will take place of press coverage over the
coming months and it might be necessary to conclude that those vital
rights are being abused.
He says transcripts of the inquiry's proceedings will be posted daily on
10.34 He continues:
In part one of this inquiry, the brush will be quite broad, because it
cannot lead to a detailed analysis that will lead me to applaud one
newspaper and criticise another.
A large number of those involved were either invited to give evidence or
required to do so. We are still receiving evidence and it may be that
some evidence is heard out of turn.
Lord Justice Leveson has opened the inquiry into media ethics
10.30 Lord Justice Leveson has opened the inquiry, starting with a
summary of events to date.
He tells assembled journalists and lawyers:
I fully consider freedom of expression and freedom of the press to be
fundamental to democracy, fundamental to our way of life. But that right
must be expressed with the rights of others in mind.
10.21 Sam Marsden, chief reporter at the Press Association, tweets:
Bit busier now - around a dozen journalists waiting for the start of
Leveson hearings in the overspill annexe at the Royal Courts of Justice
10.17 Lord Hunt, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, has
done an interview with The Guardian after taking over as head of the
While Leveson will look for an alternative regulatory system for the
press, Lord Hunt needs to convince politicians, the public and the
inquiry that the PCC should be preserved.
He said that he believes the greatest threat to journalistic integrity
comes not from tabloids but bloggers, including Guido Fawkes - but he
says the PCC is more than equipped to deal with this:
My way is to look forward, not back. Events [hacking and Leveson] have
conspired to provide us with a great opportunity to set up a lasting
structure that will be clearly in the public interest. And public
interest is the guiding philosophy.
10.06 Less than half an hour to go and the seats are filling up fast in
Court 73 at the RCJ.
Thais Portilho-Shrimpton, coordinator of the Hacked Off campaign, tweets
that journalists are expecting to hear from News International today, as
well as opening remarks from Robert Jay QC.
She says national newspapers have been allocated seats in the court
room, while others are having to fight for space:
Off to #Leveson. Since they're ignoring 'first come first served' rule
for journalists in an open court, must find a place in the annex room
The Hacked Off campaign sought a public inquiry after the phone hacking
09.45 Trevor Kavanagh, associate editor at The Sun, and Roy Greenslade,
media commentator at The Guardian, were having a healthy debate on the
Today programme this morning.
Kavanagh said excessive legislation could limit press freedom. He said
he thought that "newspapers, by and large, live by the letter of the
But he was concerned about the lack of tabloid representatives on
Leveson's panel of assessors:
The representation of the tabloid press is not sufficient. In fact it
Meanwhile, Greenslade said the press had a tendency to "get carried away
with its own power". He added:
The Leveson Inquiry is a prod to the industry to cure itself, to sort
09.30 This morning we're expecting to hear from counsel to the Leveson
Inquiry, Robert Jay QC, who will explain why the hearing is taking place
and what is likely to happen over the next three months.
Robert Jay QC is a barrister from 39 Essex Street, a chambers in London,
who specialises in public law, personal injury and clinical negligence,
commercial cases and education.
According to his online profile, he became a QC in 1998 and is a deputy
High Court judge as well as joint head of his chambers.
He attended New College, Oxford, is fluent in French and is described on
his CV as being a "meticulous analyst" with a "really sharp brain" and
"compelling written and oral arguments."
Jay will be assisted by David Barr, a human rights lawyer with 18 years'
experience, and Carine Patry Hoskins, an expert in public and
The inquiry will be held in Court 73 at the Royal Courts of Justice in
09.28 Last week, Alan Rusbridger, the editor of the Guardian, gave the
annual Orwell lecture on journalism.
Entitled 'Hacking Away at the Truth', he urged journalists to "seize the
opportunity" in the Leveson Inquiry and agree on a "regulator with
teeth" to strengthen the quality press.
As all honest journalists know, newspapers are full of errors, crude
over-simplifications, mistakes of emphasis, contestable interpretations
and things which should have been phrased differently. It seems silly to
pretend otherwise, yet many newspapers do.
So a good starting point for Lord Justice Leveson would be to make it a
condition of belonging to a voluntary regulation regime that newspapers
should employ, on a properly independent basis, a readers' editor to
correct and clarify material promptly and prominently.
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger called for a "regulator with teeth" for
09.25 James Kirkup, the Telegraph's deputy political editor, will be at
the RCJ for the opening of the inquiry today. He will be tweeting and
blogging live updates for us throughout the day.
Follow James on Twitter @jameskirkupor read his latest blog post.
09.21 The Leveson Inquiry is due to start at 10.30am today and will be
streamed live from the Royal Courts of Justice.
The tweets are already coming thick and fast.
Ross Hawkins, BBC political correspondent, says Lord Justice Leveson has
been doing his research ahead of today's hearing. He tweets:
Lord Justice #Leveson has visited newsrooms of Mirror, Mail and
Southampton Echo ahead of hearings
09.20 Here are some of the main terms of reference for Lord Justice
To inquire into the culture, practices, and ethics of the press,
including contacts between newspapers and politicians, and the press and
To make recommendations for a new, more effective regulatory regime
which supports the integrity and freedom of the press, the plurality of
the media and its independence.
To inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News
International and other newspaper organisations, including looking at
the review by the Metropolitan Police of their initial investigation and
the extent to which the police received corrupt payments or were
otherwise complicit in the misconduct.
A full list of the terms of reference can be found on the inquiry
Part Two of the inquiry will be carried out after the police
investigation into hacking is complete
09.18 Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, was speaking last night at
the 2011 Society of Editors lecture.
In his speech, entitled 'Ethics and journalism after the News of the
World', he defended press self-regulation, arguing that statutory
regulation would be inappropriate for newspapers.
Lord Patten said:
Statutory regulation of the press would, in my view, be more than
wrong-headed. It would pose a real danger to the public discourse that
underpins our democracy.
It would be wrong to try to import any model of regulation from the
broadcast media to the press... Newspapers themselves need to find ways
to re-build public trust in what they do.
09.15 Sir Brian Henry Leveson QC, the man heading up the inquiry, was
appointed to the post in July this year.
Formerly a barrister in Liverpool, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel in
1986 and is an honorary fellow of Merton College, Oxford.
Now a Lord Justice of Appeal, he has also been a High Court judge and
senior presiding judge, as well as currently serving as chairman of the
Sentencing Council. In 1995 he prosecuted serial killer Rose West.
Lord Justice Leveson will be assisted by a panel of six assessors, who
were appointed by David Cameron for their expertise on the subject of
They are: former Financial Times chairman Sir David Bell, Liberty
director Shami Chakrabarti, former Ofcom chairman Lord Currie, former
Channel 4 News political editor Elinor Goodman, former Daily Telegraph
political editor George Jones and former West Midlands police chief
constable Sir Paul Scott-Lee.
Lord Justice Leveson (centre) and his panel of six assessors
09.10 So how will the inquiry work?
The two part inquiry, established under the Inquiries Act 2005, started
in October with a series of preliminary seminars featuring high-profile
speakers including newspaper editors and reporters.
Paul Dacre, editor at Associated Newspapers, told the inquiry that press
regulation would put democracy in danger, while Guardian editor Alan
Rusbridger said British press freedom was a "model for the world".
09.09 The first part of the inquiry is expected to run for three months,
during which Lord Justice Leveson will hear evidence from up to 50 "core
participants" including newspaper groups and those thought to have been
affected by unethical journalism.
These include Milly Dowler's family, Madeleine McCann's parents and
celebrities Sienna Miller, Hugh Grant and JK Rowling.
The first witness is expected to appear on November 21.
A full list of core participants can be found on the Leveson Inquiry
Sienna Miller, Hugh Grant and JK Rowling may be called to give evidence
09.05 The Leveson Inquiry was set up by Prime Minister David Cameron in
July at the height of the phone hacking scandal.
It came after revelations that a private detective working for the News
of the World hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
The aim of the inquiry is to look at the culture, practices, and ethics
of the press in a bid to weed out illegal practices including phone
hacking, private detectives and covert surveillance.
It is split into two parts:
Part one - focusing on ethics - will make recommendations on the future
of press regulation to both maintain freedom of the press and ensure
high ethical and professional standards.
Part two - focusing on phone hacking - will look at the News of the
World scandal but will take place at a later date to avoid prejudicing
the ongoing police investigation into the phone hacking scandal and any
Lord Justice Leveson will lead the inquiry into media ethics
09.00 Welcome to our rolling coverage of the Leveson Inquiry live from
the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
The public inquiry into journalistic ethics was launched in the wake of
the phone hacking scandal that engulfed News International in July and
For full coverage of the events leading up to the inquiry, visit our
Leveson Inquiry and phone hacking archives.