Ian Hislop to give evidence to Leveson Inquiry

 

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop will put forward his ideas for the future of press regulation when he gives evidence to the Leveson Inquiry next week.

He joins a series of national and regional newspaper editors appearing before the inquiry, including Alan Rusbridger of the Guardian, James Harding of the Times and Richard Wallace of the Daily Mirror.

Leading industry figures Tom Mockridge, who took over as chief executive of News International from Rebekah Brooks last July, and Sly Bailey, chief executive of Trinity Mirror, will also provide testimony.

The press standards inquiry will receive evidence on Monday from executives at Trinity Mirror, which publishes five national newspapers, including two Scottish titles, and more than 160 regional papers.

The company's witnesses will include Mr Wallace, Sunday Mirror editor Tina Weaver and People editor Lloyd Embley.

Mr Hislop, who is also a panellist on the BBC comedy quiz show Have I Got News For You, will appear on Tuesday.

He is likely to be asked about how Private Eye, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, deals with complaints given that it does not sign up to industry regulator the Press Complaints Commission.

The fortnightly satirical magazine has taken a close interest in the Leveson Inquiry and how it has been reported in national newspapers.

Lord Justice Leveson said on Monday that he was "aware" of Private Eye's coverage of his hearings.

He added: "I am not concerned about any criticism that might be made either of the inquiry or of me. That is the critical and all-important virtue of free speech and a free press."

Other evidence on Tuesday will come from Mr Harding, Mr Mockridge, Sunday Times editor John Witherow, Mr Rusbridger and the Guardian's readers' editor Chris Elliott.

On Wednesday the inquiry will hear from three editors of celebrity magazines: Hello!'s Rosie Nixon, OK!'s Lisa Byrne and Heat's Lucie Cave.

Further testimony will be provided by regional newspaper editors Peter Charlton of the Yorkshire Post, Noel Doran of the Irish News, Spencer Feeney of the South Wales Evening Post, Mike Gilson of the Belfast Telegraph, Maria McGeoghan of the Manchester Evening News, John McLellan of the Scotsman, Nigel Pickover of the Ipswich Evening Star and Jonathan Russell of the Herald.

The inquiry received written or oral evidence from other national newspaper editors this week. Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre will appear on February 6.

Prime Minister David Cameron set up the Leveson Inquiry last July in response to claims that the News of the World commissioned a private detective to hack murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone after she disappeared in 2002.

The first part of the inquiry, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, is looking at the culture, practices and ethics of the Press in general and is due to produce a report by September.

The second part, examining the extent of unlawful activities by journalists, will not begin until detectives have completed their investigation into alleged phone hacking and corrupt payments to police, and any prosecutions have been concluded.

PA

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