Justice Leveson to ask 'who guards the guardians?'

The judge tasked with overseeing the public inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal claimed that at its heart was ‘one simple question: who guards the guardians?’

Prime Minister David Cameron announced earlier today that one of the UK’s most senior judges, Lord Justice Leveson, will lead the two-part inquiry.

Part one, which includes examining the ethics and culture of the British press, is set to get underway immediately and will report back in twelve months.

Part two, which includes looking at specific claims about phone hacking at the News of the World and what went wrong with the original police investigation, will be deferred due to the ongoing criminal investigation.

‘The terms of reference raise complex and wide-ranging legal and ethical issues of enormous public concern,’said Justice Leveson in a statement released this afternoon.

‘The inquiry must balance the desire for a robustly free press with the rights of the individual while, at the same time, ensuring that critical relationships between the press, Parliament, the Government and the police are maintained.

‘The press provides an essential check on all aspects of public life. That is why any failure within the media affects all of us. At the heart of this Inquiry, therefore, may be one simple question: who guards the guardians?”

The inquiry will be established under the 2005 Inquiries Act, giving it the power to summon journalists, politicians and proprietors under oath.

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