Press release

PM announces panel for judge-led inquiry and publishes terms of reference

The Prime Minister has announced the six panel members and terms of reference for the Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Prime Minister announced today the six panel members who will assist with the judge-led inquiry into the culture, practices, and ethics of the press and the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other newspaper organisations.

The panel members assisting Lord Justice Leveson with his inquiry are:

  • 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.

The Prime Minister said:

These people have been chosen not only for their expertise in the media, broadcasting, regulation, government and policing, but for their complete independence from any interested parties.

The Prime Minister also announced the publication of the finalised terms of reference for the inquiry (see below).  He made the announcements in a statement to Parliament.

Terms of reference for judge-led Inquiry

Part 1

  1. To inquire into the culture, practices, and ethics of the press, including:

  2. contacts and the relationships between national newspapers and politicians, and the conduct of each
  3. contacts and the relationship between the press and the police, and the conduct of each
  4. the extent to which the current policy and  regulatory framework has failed including in relation to data protection
  5. the extent to which there was a failure to act on previous warnings about media misconduct.

  6. To make recommendations:

  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. the future conduct of relations between politicians and the press
  10. the future conduct of relations between the police and the press.

Part 2

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

Notes to editors

The press contact for the Leveson Inquiry is Mr John Toker.  His current email address and his telephone number is: 020 7276 0424.

Published 20 July 2011