Transcripts from first Core Participant hearing
Lord Justice Leveson heard applications for Core Participant status at the Royal Courts of Justice on September 6.
Transcripts are available on the Leveson Inquiry website.
Leveson Inquiry website
The official website of the Leveson Inquiry has been launched this week, with information for participants and the public.
Terms of reference for judge-led Inquiry
1. To inquire into the culture, practices, and ethics of the press, including:
- contacts and the relationships between national newspapers and politicians, and the conduct of each
- contacts and the relationship between the press and the police, and the conduct of each
- the extent to which the current policy and regulatory framework has failed including in relation to data protection
- the extent to which there was a failure to act on previous warnings about media misconduct.
2. To make recommendations:
- for a new more effective policy and regulatory regime which supports the integrity and freedom of the press, the plurality of the media, and its independence, including from Government, while encouraging the highest ethical and professional standards
- for how future concerns about press behaviour, media policy, regulation and cross-media ownership should be dealt with by all the relevant authorities, including Parliament, Government, the prosecuting authorities and the police
- the future conduct of relations between politicians and the press
- the future conduct of relations between the police and the press.
3. To inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International, other newspaper organisations and, as appropriate, other organisations within the media, and by those responsible for holding personal data.
4. To inquire into the way in which any relevant police force investigated allegations or evidence of unlawful conduct by persons within or connected with News International, the review by the Metropolitan Police of their initial investigation, and the conduct of the prosecuting authorities.
5. To inquire into the extent to which the police received corrupt payments or other inducements, or were otherwise complicit in such misconduct or in suppressing its proper investigation, and how this was allowed to happen.
6. To inquire into the extent of corporate governance and management failures at News International and other newspaper organisations, and the role, if any, of politicians, public servants and others in relation to any failure to investigate wrongdoing at News International
7. In the light of these inquiries, to consider the implications for the relationships between newspaper organisations and the police, prosecuting authorities, and relevant regulatory bodies – and to recommend what actions, if any, should be taken.
The panel members assisting Lord Justice Leveson with his inquiry
Shami Chakrabarti CBE – the civil liberties campaigner and Director of Liberty
Sir Paul Scott-Lee – former Chief Constable of the West Midlands
Lord (David) Currie – former Chairman of OFCOM
Elinor Goodman – radio presenter and former Political Editor of Channel 4 News
George Jones – former Political Editor of The Daily Telegraph
Sir David Bell – former Chairman of the Financial Times and former Chairman of the Media Standards Trust.
The individual members of the Leveson Inquiry Panel has each made their own declaration. However they are agreed that the following statement is common to them all.
“I do not believe I have any conflicts of interest that would prevent me from looking at the evidence dispassionately and fairly. However I will declare any conflicts should they arise in the future and willingly withdraw from any necessary hearings”
Lord Justice Leveson
Information placed before the Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sports prior to their approval of the instruments of appointment under sections 4(1) and 11(1) of the Inquiries Act 2005
Prior to my appointment, in addition to being a Lord Justice of Appeal, for three years I was the Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales responsible to the Lord Chief Justice, among many other duties, for seeking ways to improve efficiency in the criminal justice system and specifically in the criminal courts. I am also Chairman of the Criminal Justice Council and had a seat on the National Criminal Justice Board, which had similar aims. Finally, I am presently Chairman of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales, which is required by law to have regard to ways it might promote public confidence in the criminal justice system and, as has been noted in the press, I have been critical of the way in which sentencing issues have been reported.
As I explained following an enquiry by the Evening Standard, when, by chance at a dinner in February 2010, I met Mr Matthew Freud of Freud Communications, I took the opportunity to discuss the issue of public confidence. Mr Freud then offered to assist the Council, on a pro bono basis, by considering ways in which this issue might be addressed. To that end, in my capacity as Chairman of the Sentencing Council, and to the knowledge of the Lord Chief Justice, I attended two large evening events at Mr Freud’s London home: these were on 29 July 2010 and 25 January 2011. More recently, although there has been a meeting between officials of the Council and of Freud Communications, there is no continuing relationship. In any event, I was not involved in that meeting and I have neither met nor spoken to anyone from Freud Communications since January 2011.
My duties have brought be into contact with representatives of each of the areas covered by the inquiry. Thus, in these capacities, at a strategic level, I have had dealings with the then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and have worked closely with Mr Tim Godwin, now Acting Commissioner, who has been the ACPO lead on criminal justice. We have sat on boards which developed improvements to the efficiency of the magistrates courts, (colloquially known as CJSSS), as well as other schemes such as virtual courts, community justice and split shift sittings in the Crown Court. More recently, Mr Godwin has been a member of the Sentencing Council.
On a very few occasions, we have dined along with others in our official capacities and I attended a celebration of his 50th birthday. We have never discussed operational matters of any sort. I add, for completeness, that Deputy Assistant Commissioner Akers has confirmed that there is no suggestion that Mr Godwin was involved in any way in the police investigation or initial review which forms part of this Inquiry. As far as I am aware, I have never met the former Assistant Commissioner, Mr John Yates.
Prior to my appointment to the Inquiry, I reminded the Lord Chief Justice of these matters and ensured that both my contact with Mr Freud and the fact that I had had dealings with the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police were brought to the attention of the Prime Minister.
Since my appointment, the terms of reference have been altered to include prosecuting authorities and politicians. In relation to the former, as Senior Presiding Judge, I also worked with Keir Starmer Q.C., the present Director of Public Prosecutions (on whose selection committee I sat and who is also a member of the Sentencing Council). I also worked on the same basis with his predecessor (now Lord Macdonald of River Glaven Q.C.). Again, I have not discussed operational issues with either.
As for politicians, I have worked with the present Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, the Rt Hon Kenneth Clark, Q.C., along with his predecessors, the Rt Hon Jack Straw M.P. (whom I first met on holiday some 20 years ago, although we lost touch with each other in the late 1990s, until his appointment as Lord Chancellor) and the Rt Hon Lord Falconer of Thoroton. I have also worked with their ministers.
None of my close family has any connection with the matters I am likely to investigate.
I have spent my life in and around newspapers and believe passionately in them and the enormous importance of a free press. I believe that the remit of the Inquiry is broad enough to be able to focus effectively on relations between politicians, the press and the police.
I am, or have been, connected to a number of organisations which have direct or indirect links with the media and communications industries and want to offer some background and context.
I was founder Chair of the Media Standards Trust which was set up in 2006 to foster high standards in British journalism and has, among other things, done several major pieces of work on the effectiveness of press regulation in the UK and on the provenance of news on the internet. It is a registered charity funded almost entirely by Foundations from both sides of the Atlantic. The Trust has also been one of the members of the Hacked Off campaign.
I stepped down as Chair of the Media Standards Trust on my appointment to the Inquiry and have been succeeded by Roger Graef who has been a member since the start.
I have a number of roles connected to media organisations. I am paid in my non-executive role on the Economist, the other work is unpaid. I have never asked for and have no influence over any editorial material they may produce. These organisations include:
•The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
•Institute of War and Peace Reporting Europe
I am Chairman of Common Purpose, a registered charity which operates in the UK and some ten other countries and runs leadership and other courses which mix people from the public, private and NGO sectors. Common Purpose has had several dealings in the past few years with the office of the Information Commissioner in connection with comments that have been made repeatedly about it on the web without, in Common Purpose’s view, any foundation at all.
I am Chair of Crisis, and one of the trustees is Jane Furniss who runs the Independent Police Complaints Commission. I am a member of Liberty whose Chief Executive is also on the panel. I have never been to a meeting nor voted in any Liberty election.
I do not belong to any political party, but in the past have given some money at election time to the Liberal Democrats.
I have family connections with the media too. My son is an editor who works for BBC Radio 4 News and my son-in-law is the Britain Editor of the Economist magazine.
My background and previous employment means that I have met a large number of people connected to the media and the broadcast industry in particular and had interactions with a number of politicians. I want to be specific in connection to members of the Murdoch family and say that I have met Mr Rupert Murdoch once at a News International Party some years ago. We had a brief conversation which lasted about one minute and contained nothing of significance.
I met Mr James Murdoch several times, again some years ago. On one or two occasions it was when I briefly was Executive Chairman of Ofcom – a period which lasted two to three months following the resignation of the then Chief Executive Stephen Carter.
At that time I made a point of meeting the chairmen and chief executives of all the major businesses which we regulated at Ofcom. I recall one specific conversation in which James asked whether Ofcom had an anti-Sky bias and I explained why I thought not.
Finally I would state that there may be a perception that because Ofcom is a statutory regulator I must, as a past chairman, favour statutory regulation. That is not the case. I believe that self-regulation, with good governance in place, can be superior. Each case needs to be judged on its merits.
For example, I drove the move of television advertising from statutory regulation by Ofcom to self-regulation through the Advertising Standard Authority, with an Ofcom backstop.
I am the Director of Liberty (the National Council for Civil Liberties), a cross-party and non-party organisation that campaigns fearlessly for personal privacy, media freedom and the Rule of Law. Previously I was a Home Office Lawyer, serving Governments of Conservative and Labour persuasions, and prior to that I spent a short while at the independent bar. During my time at Liberty (nearly ten years) my salary has been my sole income, as was my Home Office salary (in the five or so years previous).
My work has involved copious dealings with the media, politicians and the police, and whilst I consider myself a critical friend of all three of these vital pillars to our democracy, neither I nor Liberty are beholden to any of them.
I also count many practising lawyers amongst my friends and associates and my husband Martyn Hopper is a partner specialising in financial services regulation at the international law firm Herbert Smith LLP. Whilst this is not his area of practice, other partners in the firm have acted for BSkyB and other media interests.
I believe I can be a totally independent assessor as I have never been in close contact with any of the people we are likely to interview, and I have always been known for my independence.
My contacts with politicians have been very largely professional, though I was married to Tony Blair’s former economic adviser. I cannot think of any conflict of interest that might arise.
As a political journalist, I did know ministers in the last Labour administration and the two Tory Governments before that. I used to have lunch occasionally with ministers and went to some parties at the party conferences. However, I never socialised regularly with Ministers or knowingly met any of the current proprietors of newspapers, or their editors, except very fleetingly Alan Rusbridger. I once had lunch with Tony Blair at Chequers. I was also a guest at a Downing Street dinner hosted by John Major. Many years ago, I played tennis with David Cameron on holiday. The only close friend who might be a witness is the former permanent secretary at the Department of Culture, Sir Hayden Phillips.
Over the last four years I have been working as a freelance journalist for the BBC and the Mail on Sunday, but I had no dealings with the management.
I have been a newspaper journalist most of my working life and have reported parliament and politics for more than 40 years. This has brought me into contact with politicians of all parties, but on a strictly professional footing. I am not a member of any political party and I believe I can approach the inquiry on a totally impartial basis.
I have been to Chequers twice as a guest of Sir John Major when he was Prime Minister. I have attended numerous receptions at No 10 Downing Street and the Treasury for political correspondents hosted by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. I retired from the Westminster lobby shortly after the 2010 general election, so I have not received any hospitality from David Cameron as Prime Minister.
After the Barclay brothers took over The Daily Telegraph my services as political editor were dispensed with by the then editor, Will Lewis (now a senior executive at News International, who may be one of the potential witnesses) along with many other senior editorial staff. After that I worked for the Press Association news agency for two years.
My brother Nicholas Jones, a former BBC industrial and political correspondent, is a well known expert on political spin doctoring, the way politicians interact with the media and seek to influence press and broadcast coverage, and the way newspapers, TV and radio report politics. He has written several books on the subject.
I am a retired Chief Constable and was in charge of the Suffolk force followed by West Midlands. During my career I also served in Northamptonshire and Kent.
I have not served in the Metropolitan Police Force. Because of the positions I held I was a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and latterly the Vice Chairman. I am now a life member of the Association. I was also the Vice Chairman of the ACPO Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee. Work in this area bought me into close contact with a number of Metropolitan Police senior officers.
Due to the nature of policing I know and I am known to a large proportion of the senior police officers of this country.
I have had little contact with the national media other than when their representatives attended press conferences in my area. I had contact with local media wherever I served. In the main this was through formal press conferences and interviews about specific issues.
My wife, Rosemary Susan Scott-Lee, worked in the telecommunications industry. Firstly for Hutchison Telecom, which later became Orange, before being acquired by France Telecom. She held a number of senior positions, operating mainly in the security and fraud areas. She retired in 2009. In 2010 Rosemary and I established a consulting company ‘P&R Consulting Limited’. Since that time Rosemary has provided some consultancy for France Telecom.