First three months of Leveson Inquiry cost £855,300

The first three months of the Leveson inquiry cost the taxpayer £855,300 – including £85,000 in accommodation costs alone.

Figures released on the inquiry’s website reveal the single biggest expense was inquiry secretariat staff costs, which came to £376,100, followed by £215,000 spent on counsel to the inquiry.

Other expenses for the period between mid-July to 31 October include:

  • Assessors’ remuneration – £22,800
  • IT and telecommunications (including website management costs) – £35,400
  • Office running costs – £4,000
  • Seminars – 93,000
  • Hearing costs (including transcription costs) – £23,600

A statement on the inquiry’s website said the figures cover the start-up period and “do not reflect the average monthly costs for the inquiry”, adding that ‘overall projections will be clearer when the next set of costs is published in March 2012″.

The inquiry began taking evidence from witnesses in November.

The statement continued: ‘During this period, the Inquiry team and counsel were recruited, a substantial number of requests for evidence were sent out and a large amount of information was received and considered in preparation for the oral evidence sessions.

‘Arrangements were put in place for those public hearings to take place at the Royal Courts of Justice, removing the need for costly hire of accommodation elsewhere.

‘Although formal evidence sessions did not start until the middle of November, there were a number of directions hearings during September and October.

‘As part of our aim to encourage public debate on the issues to be considered, the Inquiry also held three public seminars during this period; more information on the seminars can be found on our website.’

It added: ‘Only expenditure authorised through or on behalf of the Inquiry Secretariat is included in the figures. The Inquiry is directly funding its own legal team and will consider any applications for funding from the core participants or witnesses to the Inquiry in accordance with the protocol on the Inquiry website. No such applications were received for this period.”

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