Brooks denied 'core participant' status by Leveson - Press Gazette

Brooks denied 'core participant' status by Leveson

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and private detective Jonathan Rees are among those who have been denied core participant status at the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics.

Lord Justice Leveson today published his ruling on who would be accorded this special status for part one of the hacking scandal inquiry – which is due to get under way in October.

Core participants in public inquiries can have extra rights to legal representation as well as the ability to cross-examine witnesses and make opening and closing submissions. They may also receive advance copies of the report and can benefit from advance disclosure of inquiry materials.

Leveson said that a group 46 “victims” who believe they have been subject to phone-hacking or other press excesses have been given core participant status.

These include MPs Chris Bryant, Tessa Jowell and Denis MacShane; lawyers such as Mark Lewis and Mark Thomson; Gerry and Kate McCann; libel victim Christopher Jefferies and a host of celebrities including: Hugh Grant, Abi Titmuss, JK Rowling and Ulrika Jonsson (see full list below).

National newspaper publishers News International, Northern and Shell, Associated Newspapers and Guardian News and Media were also accorded core participant status. Leveson said that these publishers had sought to be core participants because ” if the culture and practices of the press require change, the effect will be upon all”.

The Met Police is also to be a core participant.

Brooks was denied her request for core particpant status, as was Jonathan Rees – a private detective who has worked for News International and Mirror Group Newspapers. It appears that both were concerned that they will be subject to personal criticism by participants in the inquiry.

Brooks is also in the position of having one foot in the “victim” camp because her voicemails are believe to have been intercepted.

English Pen and Index on Censorship also had their requests for core participant status denied.

Leveson made it clear that future applications can be considered and that his position may be reviewed.

Trinity Mirror, the publisher of the Daily Mirror, does not appear to have applied to become a core participant in the inquiry as yet.

Because of the ongoing criminal investigation into hacking, the Leveson Inquiry has been divided up into two parts. Part one will look at the culture, practices and ethics of the press: it will first look at press and the public, then press and the police, press and politicians and finally the future.

Part two of the inquiry will look at the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other media organisations.

Leveson has been given 12 months to conclude the first part of the inquiry – but he has already made clear that it may not be possible to keep to that timescale.

Press “victims” accorded core-participant status in the Leveson Inquiry are:

1 Chris Bryant MP

2 Tessa Jowell MP

3 Denis MacShane MP

4 The Rt Hon Lord Prescott of Kingston upon Hull

5 Joan Smith

6 Christopher Shipman

7 Tom Rowland

8 Mark Lewis

9 Mark Thomson

10 Gerry McCann

11 Kate McCann

12 Christopher Jefferies

13 Max Moseley

14 Brian Paddick

15 Paul Gascoigne

16 David Mills

17 Sienna Miller

18 Hugh Grant

19 Ben Jackson

20 Ciara Parkes

21 Simon Hughes MP

22 Max Clifford

23 Sky Andrew

24 Ulrika Jonsson

25 Mark Oaten

26 Michele Milburn

27 Abi Titmuss

28 Calum Best

29 Claire Ward

30 Mary-Ellen Field

31 Gary Flitcroft

32 Ian Hurst

33 Shobna Gulati

34 Mike Hollingsworth

35 Kieron Fallon

36 Ashvini Sharma

37 Tim Blackstone

38 Valatina Semenenko

39 Sally Dowler

40 Bob Dowler

41 Gemma Dowler

42 Sheryl Gascoigne

43 Graham Shear

44 JK Rowling

45 James Watson

46 Margaret Watso



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette