Leveson Announces Details Of Media Inquiry Into Phone Hacking Scandal
The inquiry into the media following the News of the World phone hacking scandal will look at instances of impropriety in all papers, the judge heading up the probe said today.
Lord Justice Leveson warned the media not to "close ranks" as he announced full details of the inquiry into the media, which he said would look at the “width and depth” of press culture and ethics.
"It may be tempting for a number of people to close ranks and suggest that the problem is or was local to a group of journalists then operating at the News of the World, but I would encourage all to take a wider picture of the public good and help me grapple with the width and depth of the problem," he said.
He and the six other members of the panel also declared their interests, making no apology for “contacts or links” with those they are investigating.
The declarations of links between the press, politicians, police and panel makers include:
Lord Justice Leveson, heading the inquiry
- Has been critical of the reporting of sentencing issues
- Met with Matthew Freud, Rupert Murdoch’s son-in-law in Febuary 2010, who provided free assistance to the Sentencing Council for England and Wales which Justice Leveson chairs
- Attended two parties in Freud’s home in July 2010 and January 2011
- Has had “dealings” with Sir Paul Stephenson, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police who resigned in the wake of the hacking scandal
- Has worked closely with Tim Godwin the police’s acting Commissioner, who was a member of the Sentencing Council, attending his 50th birthday
- Has worked with current Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer and his predecessor Lord Macdonald
Elinor Goodman, former political editor of Channel 4 news
- Was married to Tony Blair’s former economic adviser
- Played tennis with David Cameron on holiday
George Jones, former political journalist
- Went to Chequers twice as Sir John Major’s guest
- Was once sacked by Will Lewis, the former Telegraph editor who now works for News International and may be called to the inquiry
Paul Scott-Lee, retired Chief constable
- Has been in close contact with Metropolitan police senior officers during his work with the Association of Chief Police Officers
David Bell, founder of the Media Standards Trust
- Has given money to the Liberal Democrats
David Currie, former Ofcom chairman
- Has met Rupert Murdoch at a News International party
- Met James Murdoch “several times”, once when he was Ofcom’s Executive Chairman when James asked him if the broadcasting regulator was biased against Sky
Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty
- Her husband’s law firm, Herbert Smith LLP has acted for BSkyB
Justice Leveson stressed he had the power to force witnesses to appear before the inquiry: “In order to maintain an ordered approach to the collection of evidence, I intend to exercise those powers as soon as possible … I make it clear that my powers will undoubtedly be exercised on more than one occasion in order to meet all the Inquiry’s objectives.”
The first stage of the Leveson inquiry will hold preliminary hearings in September and a series of seminars in October, and will attempt to report back within a year.