3 April 2012

Leveson Inquiry: Module 2 - Press/Police - Day 20

Lord Justice Leveson
"The focus of the Inquiry is ‘the culture, practices and ethics of the press’ in the context of the latter’s relationship with the public, the police and politicians. All of these matters overlap, and my goal must be to consider what lessons, if any, may be learned from past events and what recommendations, if any, should be made for the future, in particular as regards press regulation, governance and other systems of oversight."

Useful Links:
Leveson Inquiry Witness Statements HERE 
Leveson Inquiry Witness Lists HERE
Video Recordings of each day's proceedings HERE
Live Feed From Leveson Inquiry Site HERE
BBC Democracy Live Feed HERE 
Telegraph Live Blog HERE
Guardian - Neil Wallis Live Blog (Monday's) HERE

Module 2 

"The relationship between the press and the police and the extent to which that has operated in the public interest."
 Links to today's articles, information and comment relevant to the Leveson Inquiry
Guardian Live Blog - James Murdoch to Step Down as BSkyB Chairman - Live
 Tuesday, 3rd April 2012
Link to Day 19 HERE

Today's Witnesses:
Derek Barnett ( Police Superintendants Association )
Dr Rob Mawby ( Department of Criminology, University of Leicester )
Lucy Panton ( Formerly of News of the World )
Ed Stearns ( Chief Press Officer, Directorate of Public Affairs, MPS )

To be Read:
Karl Wissgott ( Head of PNC Services, MPIA )

14:00 - 16:30:
Directions Hearing for Module 3 (scroll down page to find account)

        Guardian Live Blog - Lucy Panton

        @nataliepeck :
        We're off at #Leveson. First witness is former NoW crime correspondent Lucy Panton. She has been arrested under Op Elveden.
        Panton: Drinks with Lord Stevens at CRA Xmas party and his leaving do, but no other time. Minimal contact with Lord Blair.
        Panton: I didn't have that many lunches with John Yates, he was a guest at my wedding.
        Panton: A few people at my wedding I would class as working friends, Yates falls into that category.
        Panton: Senior officers provided general background on policing and the areas that they were specialists in.
        Panton: I found Yates and Hayman very helpful in broader terms but they weren't forthcoming with NoW stories.
        Panton: Mr Fedorcio was important to me in trying to encourage the DPA to ask officers to hold back briefings for Sunday papers.
        Panton on crime story typed up in Fedorcio's office: I was sitting at his desk, can't remember which computer I was using.
        Panton: Prison source mentioned in story not someone from Wandsworth Prison – another journalist.
        [Fedorcio told the inquiry Panton used his laptop to file the story and not a computer connected to police network.
        Panton: Know how things get pinged around the office. If someone saw story being filed from Scotland Yard, might ask questions.

        @IndexLeveson :
        Panton: One one-on-one drink with Sir Paul Stephenson.
        Panton says she had minimal contact with Lord Blair.
        Panton: I don't recall attending lunches with Mr Yates until he was in the anti-terror role.
        Panton says she didn't have many lunches with Yates. Says he was a guest at her wedding. 
        Panton: I'd regard all police officers I know as confidential contacts
        Panton: I can't recall any dinners with Mr Hayman.
        Panton says senior officers provided general background on policing. Adds some more forthcoming than others.
        Panton: found Hayman & Yates helpful in broader terms, good overview, but not forthcoming with what I'd say were NoW stories
        Panton describes "NoW stories" as crimes against children, high-profile murders
        Panton: to get stories NoW was interested in you’d have to go to court and listen to cases, try to talk to officers on cases
        Panton: Fedorcio knew what was going on, general overview. He was important
        Panton expands: Fedorcio important in trying to encourage DPA to explain to police officers what Sunday paper needs (vs dailies)
        Panton: was under pressure to file the story. Journalist's instinct took over, I did what it took to get newsdesk off my back

        @Selkie :
        [Whatever happened to filing a story on the phone? It's not that difficult... #Leveson]

        @rosschawkins :
        Panton : Senior officers like Hayman & Yates didn't provide notw stories; didn't spend much time with them
        Panton recalls sitting at the desk of the Met's head of press typing up a NotW story on his computer
        Panton #leveson : I'm not v good at technology, cutting and pasting on a Blackberry was beyond me and still is

        Guardian Live Blog:
        Lord Justice Leveson says that he is concerned with the impact on the Metropolitan police of the relationship between some officers and the press.
        He says Panton was "perfectly entitled" to invite Yates to her wedding, but adds that the relationship as described so far "doesn't seem to me to fit into, 'well let's have him at our wedding'".
        @nataliepeck :
        Jay asks about Mellor email to Panton:"Really need an excl splash line so time to call in all those bottles of champagne" re Yates.
        Panton: There were no bottles of champagne…[Mellor] was, as I said, I believe, bantering with me.
        Panton: I had Yates's mobile no, along with other senior officers' numbers.
        Panton statement: I have found it rather bizarre that there seems to be such interest in what champagne I did or did not drink.
        Panton: Champagne didn’t flow in huge quantities. It didn’t feature in working life although it seems to associate with me.
        Panton: Only would have shared bottle of champagne with Hayman in a large group circumstance.
        Panton statement: I do not consider that I or the News of the World got preferential treatment.
        Panton accompanied police during the arrest of Levi Bellfield with a photographer, according to her statement.
        Panton statement: Reporters + police officers who become friends should be allowed to socialise as long as do not cross boundaries.
        @rosschawkins :
        Panton #leveson : (on email about getting story from Yates) there were no bottles of champagne
        Panton's witness statement says Yates was also a guest at crime reporter Jeff Edwards' wedding 

        @IndexLeveson :
        Panton: I have drunk champagne with a police officer with other people there (e.g. CRA Christmas parties)
        Panton w/s: We do not live a champagne lifestyle and the reality of the day to day grind of journalism is far from glamorous.
        Panton: as a Sunday crime reporter you have to be looking for something that isn't already out there.
        Panton: I don't think the NoW was in a special relationship with the police
        Panton: NoW not interested in writing stories about police politics  
        @lisaocarroll :
        Panton: I was not the NoW reporter hayman had champagne with in Oriel. I only ever had champagne with police on group setting
        Lucy Panton asked about sources - 10:50 a.m.
        @nataliepeck :
        Jay asks Panton about her interaction with private investigator Derek Webb.
        Panton: I don't feel I was bullied by the editors. We were all put under a lot of pressure. It comes with the job.
        Panton: I don't think crime reporters have been over the top in seeing people, in their specialist field, in a dining/drinks sense.
        @IndexLeveson :
        Panton says it's fair to describe NoW as a highly competitive environment. Says she wasn't bullied, pressure comes w/ job
        Panton: you were expected, as a specialist, to bring in exclusive stories on your field.
        Panton: in my role, I knew where the ethical lines were and I didn't cross them. Well aware of PCC 
        Panton: from what I hear from my colleagues, lines of communication seem to have stopped btwn police & crime reporters. Sad to hear
        Panton: seems to be huge amount of attention paid to dining out, that needs to be cleared up re what's appropriate & what's not
        Panton: w/crime reporters contact has generally been at appropriate level. When you put spotlight on smth it exaggerates situation
        Panton: each newspaper should be trying to forge good relationships. Journalism is about making contacts

        @rosschawkins :
        Panton : idea a press officer shd be present every time a police officer meets a journo is not ever going to work
        Panton suggests you might find much more lunching with political reporters meeting MPs; #leveson says may turn to that

        Dr Rob Mawby  Witness Statement in Full

        @IndexLeveson :
        Dr Rob Mawby from the dept of criminology at the University of Leicester, now up
        Mawby: crime reporters might use the press office as a first stop but they need to go to other sources to build the story
        @nataliepeck :
        Mawby specialises in criminal justice research, in areas of preventing police corruption and police/media relations.
        Mowby: Tension between the press and police is in the public interest.
        Mowby: Seasoned reporters meeting officers in smokey pubs not reality anymore. There is some contact but its minimal [nationally].
        #Leveson: I get the distinct impression there is difference between journos and senior Met officers and local journalists and officers.
        Mowby: 400 professional communicators employed across forces compared to 215 in 2000/1.
        [Last tweet refers to 2006-7, Mowby says figures now in decline.
        Mowby: Research with SIOs showed they recognised need to deal with the media and a need to maintain distance.
        Mowby: I think it’s essential that communication is supported and championed by ACPO.
        Derek Barnett   Witness Statement in Full

        @nataliepeck :
        Stearns has finished. Next witness is CSI Derek Barnett, president of the Police Superintendents Association.
        Barnett: PSAEW represents almost all 1,170 superintendents and 268 chief superintendents.

        @newman_andrea :
        #Leveson making clear he wants to hear from all sides ACPO, Supers & Feds.
        Mr Barr questioning Derek Barnett
        @newman_andrea :
        Derek Barnett tells #Leveson - wiill work with Avpotential to ensure wide dissemination of any new ACPO guidance
        Barnett - Gap in current media training. Doesn't cover ethical issues. Think there is room for national guidance & standards
        Barnett talks of 'heightened sensitivity' around dealing with journalist, some seeking to avoid contact with journalists
        Good to have strong and active press to hold police to account, Barnett tells #Leveson 
        Barnett - Term off the record unhelpful - it's a routine conversation that shld be of note. Term shld b confined to the dustbin #Leveson
        Use of 'police sources' - not always police sources but convenient to say they are, Barnett tells 
        Barnett on hospitality, what we hve bn looking at here are extreme cases. Important any guidance doesn't constrain relationships.
        Barnett of @policesupers - Needs to be professional discretion but people should be held to account
        Any guidance needs to be sufficiently clear but not over prescriptive, Barnett tells #Leveson
        Barnett of @policesupers attempts to define 'public interest' - more food for thought for Inquiry
        Derek Barnett - press office a vital component for policing. Important continuing flow of information between police & media
        Derek Barnett - while Filkin a Met matter can be applied elsewhere 

        @nataliepeck :
        Barnett: Our body does not offer guidelines but want to ensure all members have electronic copy of ACPO material on media.
        Barnett: We have to be careful not to introduce guidelines that constrain people’s normal relationships. It is very subjective.

        Barnett: ethics not really taught when police officers trained to deal w/ media. Is missing but integrity also needs to be core.
        Barnett says in interim period before #Leveson recommendations there is caution, certain amount of reticence
        Barnett: we have to be careful that we don't introduce guidelines that can constrain people's normal relationships.
        Barnett: we should leave judgment of what is/isn't appropriate to people's own common sense

        Ed Stearns

        • From Old Cranbrookians' Association:
        Ed Stearns left Cranbrook in 1990, a mere 20 years ago. Following an eventful spell in further education studying Drama, Film and Television with History at St John’s College in York, Ed started on his career in journalism with the Shropshire Star covering flower shows and funerals so well, that he became chief reporter in Westminster for the Wolverhampton Express and Star during the first few months of the new Labour government. He then spent 7 years on the News Desk for the Daily Mail, eventually becoming Night News Editor. He then crossed to the dark side of PR and is now Chief Press Officer for the Metropolitan Police. Within months of starting, he had overseen the sacking of a Commissioner, the resignation of the top counter terrorism officer and a host of other blunders. Ed lives in Marlow with his wife and 2 children.
        @nataliepeck :
        Stearns points out DPA has been renamed the directorate of media and communication and he is now head of media (inc social media).
        Stearns: Worried a partial picture of the DPA/DMC has come across at inquiry and some info taken out of context.
        Stearns: Interim guidance coming in on contact with media,expect officers to tell us. Deputy and commissioner have spoken about it. 
        @IndexLeveson :
        Stearns: media will want to know everything, there is reason why police can't give them that. Tension that has been around for yrs

        @newman_andrea :
        Met press chief tells #Leveson they encourage media to speak directly with police officers
        Ed Stearns confirms this contact is recorded on press office database
        Stearns asked by LJ Leveson about police officers speaking to press
        @newman_andrea :
        Direct contact with officers can have repercussions in officer doesn't hve wider awareness of other issues, Stearns states
        Stearns tells #Leveson - one function of DPA is to work with cautious officers and an insatiable media. Can act as mediators
        Stearns responds to criticisms DPA become closed, maybe been a withdrawal from personal contact as people hve seen what's gone on
        Stearns states there is a clear position on hospitality, sets clear boundaries
        Just because ur meeting a journalist doesn't mean ur going to divulge information, Stearns tells 
        Print journalism is a youthful profession, Stearns statement says
        Stearns tells #Leveson - all journalists write positive and negative articles about MPS depending on news value
        Stearns talks social media at #Leveson. SM opportunity to hve a conversation, get context out, and to reach the public
        Stearns asked if CRA a privileged clic - no consider them experts in their field
        Stearns confirms - Management board recording contact with press. Dep Cssr working on fuller guidance document
        Leveson states dont want overly bureaucratic process but that 'Somebody knows who is talking to who and about what'
        @nataliepeck :
        Stearns: Press office job can be to negotiate between cautious officers and an insatiable media. 
        Stearns: Have had lunches and drinks with journalists. When I started in 2008 it was one a month at most.
        Stearns: Social media gives us opportunity to reach new audiences and have a conversation.
        Stearns: CRA lunches have now ceased, has been the case for a year or so [began in 2005]. 

        @IndexLeveson :
        Stearns (ex-Daily Mail) says papers tough environment, often when people come out of journalism wld find it hard to go back to it
        Stearns talks leaks at #Leveson - 'within the DPA these rarely happen'
        Stearns agrees with Jay that off the record means different things to different people. Should be clarified
        Stearns says social and digital media ultimately another way of reaching public
        Stearns says CRA not a privileged clique, considers them experts in their field

        @evansma :
        Stearns categorically denies Scotland Yard press office has a system of grading reporters who write favourable stories

        2:00 p.m. - Directions Hearing For Module 3:

        Lord Justice Leveson begins this afternoon's hearing
        @nataliepeck :
        Outstanding issues from module 1 now being discussed.
        Press reporting of the inquiry will be made part of the record, says #Leveson
        "Victims" must reapply for CP status but newspapers automatically receive it, unless they decide to drop out.
        MPS remain CP but MPA/MOPC do not. No titles to drop out. NUJ also remain CP.
        Sherborne: Limited no of CP victims wish to remain for mod 3. 
        @IndexLeveson :
        #Leveson reminds the Inquiry that we'll be starting at 9:15am tomorrow to take evidence via video link from Northern Ireland
        #Leveson says he intends to make press cuttings identifying reporting of Inquiry as part of record

        @rasschawkins :
        #leveson invites any title in country to submit "what they perceive to be their top 5 public interest stories" over last few years
        Surrey Police still working on Milly Dowler questions; Inquiry to hear details in week commencing May 8
        Mr Sherborne sets out case for victims to remain as Core Participants in Module 3 (Evan Harris seated behind Sherborne)
        @nataliepeck :
        #Leveson: It strikes me that this module is much more policy-focused than individual impact-focused, if I could put it that way.
        Sherborne: Politician CPs from mod 1+2 plus Tom Watson and Evan Harris wish to apply.
        Sherborne: Politicians include Chris Bryant, Simon Hughes, Denis MacShane, John Prescott, Claire Ward and Tessa Jowell.
        Sherborne: Watson put under that surveillance to influence what the Select Committee was doing in 2009 and since.
        Sherborne: Second category not politicians but relevant to mod 3. Reduced to three individuals.  

        @rosshawkins :
        Sherborne : Watson was put under surveillance by notw in order to influence what Select cttee was doing in 09
        Sherborne (victims' solicitor) : Harris was vilified by one part of press (Harris is sat behind Sherborne as this is discussed)
        @IndexLeveson :
        Sherborne says only through being CPs can these individuals provide assistance so Inquiry can carry out terms of reference fully
        Elaine Decoulous Appealing for Core Participant Status having been turned down twice previously

        @nataliepeck :
        Decoulos: Met failed to investigate my allegations about Mr Sherborne’s clients, am being frozen out of this inquiry.
        @lisaocarroll :
        #leveson . Decoulos: I have been libelled by nearly everyone in this room including mr sherborne
        @IndexLeveson :
        Decoulos says she is being "frozen out" of the Inquiry 
        Decoulos: I am sick of having hearings in this building
        #Leveson says he doesn't believe CFAs (conditional fee agreements) are within his terms of reference

        @rosschawkins :
        Elaine Decoulos : I'm being frozen out of the inquiry because Mr Sherborne is sitting there; #leveson says that's not right

        @nataliepeck :
        The next application is from Michael Ward.
        Michael Ward
        @lisaocarroll :
        #leveson business man Michael ward now on stand applying for core participant. He did battle with mail on Sunday 
        @nataliepeck :
        #Leveson says Ward's case involves unpicking "extremely complex and fact-sensitive allegations".
        Ward: I fully understand and respect that the opinion of the inquiry was that it was excessively complicated.
        Ward: Over 20 years I visited politicians over my case. Was ambiguous line of eyes turning to the ceiling when raised media.
        Ward: Have absolute direct experience of the way politicians have in fact reacted to issues that come to them about the press.
        Lawyer for Rebekah Brooks making application for his client to be made a Core Participant
        @nataliepeck :
        Stephen Parkinson, acting for Rebekah Brooks, makes further application on behalf of his client.
        Parkinson: Brooks eligiable as may be the subject of explicit and significant criticism and has direct and significant role.
        Parkinson: CP status will enable Brooks to have advance notice of evidence given by other witnesses.
        @rosschawkins :
        Rebekah Brooks application for core participant status being heard (declined for previous module)
        Brooks has been invited to give written and oral evidence in module 3
        @IndexLeveson :
        #Leveson reserves judgment on applications for CP status, says he will provide answer in writing

        @nataliepeck :
         #Leveson moves on to the approach to module 3. "Political end" will not start before the elections.
        #Leveson: Likely to seek read-only statements from political commentators.
        #Leveson says lines of questioning have been received by counsel the morning of evidence. Will now need 7 days in advance.

        Now on to module 4 approach. #Leveson says there will be little evidence.
        #Leveson: Week commencing 23rd April - calling some proprietors and media owners, and other evidence crossing mods.
        #Leveson Week of May 8 – further propriators, catch-up evidence and start of mod 3. Dowler conclusion and Ops Glade and Reproof.
         #Leveson: Formal part of inquiry to finish by end of July. Mod 3 by end of June and mod 4/closing oral submissions early July.

        @IndexLeveson :
        #Leveson: during week starting 23 April, will be calling proprietors or media owners or other evidence crossing modules
        Week starting 8 May, we'll have "catch-up" evidence (e.g. outstanding Dowler issues)
        Module 3 will start week of 8 May and go to end of June.
        Module 4 will start early July
        @lisaocarroll :
        #leveson newspaper proprietors to give evidence in week April 23 and in week May 8. (Expect Murdoch, lebedev, barclays, rothermere)
        @mattfosteruk :
        John Whittingdale says Culture, Media and Sport committee report on #phonehacking likely 'soon after Easter' 

        @nataliepeck :
        Back at #Leveson with discussion of rule 13.

        NGN Lawyer Mr White protests
        LJ Leveson replies


        @nataliepeck :
        #Leveson: I can make a finding of fact that X was happening without making finding of fact on who was responsible for X happening. 
        #Leveson: There is undeniably evidence from which I can infer the existence of the practice.
        [#Leveson broke the fourth wall there. Explains he is exploring what he can do and hasn't made any findings of fact against any titles.]

        @rosschawkins :
        #Leveson on evidence he's received : there is a plethora of absolutely not me guv
        Mr Browne, Trinity Mirror
        @IndexLeveson :
        Inquiry currently hearing from Trinity Mirror counsel Desmond Browne QC

        @lisaocarroll :
        Browne also worried that some individual titles or persons might be fingered in leveson's final report Making his arguments ...
        @tonyhatfield :
        desmond brown qc for trinity #mirror discussing posibilty of 's findings corrupting future criminal litigation. he's not winning
        @nataliepeck :
        #Leveson says he wants to provide a "narrative base for the conclusions I reach".

        Brown Moses Blog: Leveson Module 3 Directions

        Michalos, for the MPS, is now addressing LJ Leveson with Mr Browne in background
        Those listening enjoying her discomfiture!
        Mr Sherborne states his case in no uncertain terms

        @nataliepeck :
        #Leveson to MPS: Am I supposed to saying nothing at all about the evidence I've heard, because it might interfere with a prosecution?
        Sherborne: Sir, with the greatest respect, the submissions that you've heard belong very firmly in Alice in Wonderland territory