Leveson Report To Be Published Next Week

Leveson Report To Be Published Next Week

The Leveson Inquiry's report on media ethics and standards is due to be released next week.

Chairman Lord Justice Leveson will publish his much-anticipated findings about the British press on November 29.

David Cameron set up the inquiry last July following revelations that the News of the World paid a private detective to hack murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone after she disappeared in 2002.

The first part looked at the culture, practices and ethics of the press in general and heard testimony from key figures including politicians, celebrities and journalists.

Formal evidence started last November and the inquiry sat for a total of 88 days, ending on June 30 this year.

Its report is expected to include recommendations for the future regulation of the British press and will be laid in both Houses of Parliament and then made available online.

The chairman will also make a public statement. The Prime Minister will also make a statement in the Commons.

Leaked details of private letters that Lord Justice Leveson wrote to newspaper groups were said to have revealed stinging criticism, with one source telling The Guardian the chairman had thrown the "kitchen sink" at the press.

As debates over possible outcomes from the inquiry have raged in the run-up to the publication of the report, the Prime Minister has been urged not to impose statutory regulation on the press.

Editors of local papers covering his constituency, as well as those of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Labour leader Ed Miliband and Culture Secretary Maria Miller, have all pleaded for the protection of a free press.

Mr Cameron has indicated he will implement any recommendations which are not "bonkers".

He, Mr Clegg and Mr Miliband this week told victims of press abuses that they would "look favourably" on the proposals but there are believed to be differences within the Government over whether that should include putting the press under statutory controls.

Education Secretary Michael Gove recently took a swipe at Lord Justice Leveson by suggesting he needs "lessons in freedom of speech".

Downing Street said a small number of people in the Government would be given limited access to the report ahead of publication and before core participants.

"That is in line with previous major inquiries. At most it will be a day in advance of publication," a Number 10 spokesman said.

The second part of the inquiry, examining the extent of unlawful activities by journalists, cannot begin until detectives complete their investigation into alleged phone-hacking and corrupt payments to police, and any prosecutions have been concluded.

Several people face charges relating to the phone-hacking scandal, which involves three investigations: Operation Elveden, examining alleged bribery of public officials; Operation Weeting, which is looking at allegations of phone hacking; and Operation Tuleta, an inquiry into accusations of computer hacking and other privacy breaches.

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