- Official figures show total cost has reached £1,992,600
- £625,600 spent on legal fees
- Assessors' costs reach £76,500
The Leveson Inquiry has cost the taxpayer almost £2m in its first six months – including more than £600,000 in legal fees.
According to official figures it cost £1,992,600 to run the inquiry from mid-July to 31 January.
The single biggest expense was operating costs, which came to £682,100, but this was closely followed by payouts to lawyers, with counsel to the inquiry - including Robert Jay QC and Carine Patry Hoskins – pocketing £536,100.
A further £89,500 went to barristers providing assistance to counsel to the inquiry.
A total of £67,500 was spent on remuneration for the inquiry's panel of assessors, though it emerged that two of the six-strong team – Liberty director of human rights Shami Chakrabarti and ex-Ofcom chairman Lord Currie – have waived their right to claim fees or expenses for the duration of the inquiry.
The other panel members are Sir David Bell, former chairman of the Financial Times; Elinor Goodman, one-time political editor of Channel 4 News, George Jones, former political editor of the Daily Telegraph, and Sir Paul Scott-Lee, former chief constable of West Midlands police.
The National Union of Journalists received £10,700 from the inquiry to meet costs involved in submiting evidence on behalf of reporters.
Public hearings began on 14 November and the inquiry sat for 35 days up to 31 January. At its present rate the inquiry costs around £379,000 to run each month.
Here is the full spending breakdown:
- Inquiry Secretariat staff costs: £682,100
- Backfill costs for Court of Appeal: £82,000*
- Counsel to the Inquiry: £536,100
- Barristers providing assistance to Counsel to the Inquiry: £89,500
- Assessors' remuneration: £67,500
- Accommodation costs (including hearing room, annex and office accommodation): £121,200
- IT & telecommunications (website, broadcasting and audio-visual links): £214,700
- Office Running Costs: £4,200
- Seminars £73,400**
- Public hearing costs (including records management and transcription costs): £111,200
- Core Participant and witness costs: £10,700
* The Inquiry is meeting the costs of deputy judges brought in to cover the absence of Lord Justice Leveson from the Court of Appeal
** The cost of the seminars is lower than the figure previously published following receipt of final invoice
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