Leveson concludes press inquiry


The Leveson Inquiry into press behaviour ended today.

Chairman Lord Justice Leveson concluded proceedings by thanking journalists who had reported on the eight-month inquiry.

He said he would produce a report as soon as he “reasonably could”.

Earlier today, a lawyer told the inquiry into press ethics that “bad journalists” were “on trial”.

Barrister David Sherborne, who represents celebrities and members of public who claim they have been victims of press misbehaviour, told the Leveson Inquiry that newspaper bosses were “scared”.

And he told inquiry chairman Lord Justice Leveson that someone had to take a “very firm grip” of the “tabloid press”.

“We are not here to focus on the good journalists. We don’t need an inquiry for them. We are here to consider the bad ones,” said Mr Sherborne.

“The press is on trial here, and not simply in this room but also out there in the court of public opinion. And they know it. That is why they are so scared of what evidence has been heard here.”

Mr Sherborne was making a closing submission on behalf of “victims” as the inquiry in London neared its end.

“Unless someone takes a grip, a very firm grip, of the tabloid press, we will be back to the same position as soon as the spotlight is turned off and the ink is dry on your report,” he told Lord Justice Leveson.

“And we are all concerned it may be payback time — payback for those who have sought to stand up. Hopefully the press will resist the temptation once this is over.”

Mr Sherborne represented witnesses including actor Hugh Grant, actress Siena Miller, Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of missing youngster Madeleine McCann, and Bob and Sally Dowler, parents of murdered teenager Milly Dowler.

He said witnesses such as the McCanns and the Dowlers were “ordinary members of the public” who had explained how their lives were “shattered by being caught in the cross hair” of press attention.