Lord Justice Leveson:
The man who has presided over it all, and possibly the most patient man in Britain. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court, Queen's Bench Division in 2000 and served in various high positions before he was appointed Chairman of the Sentencing Council in 2009.
He began preliminary hearings on 6 September 2011 and hearing evidence from witnesses on 14 November. While many journalists will breathe a sigh of relief that the first module of the Inquiry is over, Lord Justice Leveson still has a massive workload ahead of him as he prepares for the next two thirds.
Sally and Bob Dowler:
The parents of the murdered teenager Milly Dowler spoke publicly for the first time since the revelation in July that the News of the World had accessed their daughter's phone messages while she was missing. The couple, whose story triggered the setting up of the Inquiry, told it that the scale and gravity of the illegal eavesdropping on voicemails by journalists must be understood by the public.
Speaking of the false hope given by the knowledge that Milly’s voicemail had been accessed, Ms Dowler said: "I rang her phone, it clicked through on to her voicemail, so I heard her voice and it was just like: 'She's picked up her voicemails, Bob. She's alive!'"
Author, journalist and Independent commentator Joan Smith appeared at the Inquiry after she claimed the News of the World had hacked her phone while she was going out with Labour MP Denis MacShane. During the period after Mr MacShane’s daughter death in a skydiving accident in 2004, Ms Smith described how she had become “collateral damage”.
In a scathing attack on tabloid journalists, she claimed they “go around like children who have just discovered the astonishing info that their parents had sex and they can’t resist peeking around the door and hope that they might see and the rest of us actually get on with our lives.”
Ms Smith later received a payout of £27,500 from News International.
The actor and anti-hacking activist made more headlines in November when he accused The Mail on Sunday of hacking his phone back in 2007. He said he could not think of any other way the paper could have known about conversations with a ‘plummy-voiced’ woman that were referenced in an article. However, The Mail on Sunday said it ‘utterly refuted’ these claims.
He also accused the Daily Mail of obtaining information about the birth of his daughter from a hospital source, which, again, the Daily Mail ‘unequivocally’ denied.
Another actor-turned-activist, comedian Steve Coogan, appeared at the Inquiry the day after Mr Grant, and accused former News of the World editor Andy Coulson of secretly listening in on a phone call designed to entice him into revealing personal information.
Mr Coogan said he was at the Inquiry to represent those who didn’t 'have the stomach' to be there. After having stories published about him for years, the Alan
Partridge creator said he felt his ‘closet was empty of skeletons’ and was ‘immune’ from any repercussions arising from giving evidence.
Former Blackburn Rovers captain Garry Flitcroft told the Inquiry he suspected his phone had been hacked by The People newspaper to gain information about his adultery.
After taking out an injunction in 2001 to prevent The People running a ‘kiss and tell’ story, which was overturned in early 2002, he 'strongly suspected' that the paper had hacked his phone to discover details of a second woman who he had a relationship with, although he had no evidence.
Mr Flitcroft also told the Inquiry that the revelations about his affairs may have contributed to his father's suicide in 2008.
23 November & 30 November
The lawyer, who represents a number of phone hacking victims, told the Inquiry that the illegal interception of voicemails was “much more widespread” than just the
News of the World, and that it was “too easy” for journalists to hack phones.
During his second day giving evidence, Mr Lewis described how he felt personally victimised by News International, claiming the company tried to ‘destroy’ his life.
At one point, he described how he was shown a "truly horriﬁc" surveillance video of his ex-wife and 14-year-old daughter shot by a private detective commissioned by NI.
Kate and Gerry McCann:
The parents of the toddler who vanished while on holiday in Portugal in May 2007 recounted the ordeal of being "tried by media" following her disappearance.
They told of fantasy headlines – including untrue stories about a corpse in their hire car, an orgy at their villa and the couple selling their daughter – as well as Kate’s feeling of violation of having her diaries printed in the News of the World in September 2008, which she said she had not given permission for.
In February, ex-NOTW head of news Ian Edmondson would tell the Inquiry that he had been told to deliberately deceive the McCanns regarding the paper's possession of the diary.
The Layer Cake, Alfie and Stardust actress and former partner of Jude Law told the Inquiry how she accused friends and family of selling stories about her after journalists obtained intimate information about her by hacking her phone.
Miller was convinced her phone could not have been hacked, due to her regularly switching her number, and so even accused her mother of betraying her to the press.
She also spoke about the early encounters with photographers anxious to get exclusive pictures of a glamorous young star. "It was terrifying. I was 21, running down a dark street on my own being chased by 20 men."
She suggested that if their cameras were taken away, they could be charged with illegal intimidation.
The former boss of motorsports' international governing body told the Inquiry how a News of the World article in 2008 branded him a sexual pervert engaging in a Nazi-themed orgy had had an irreversible effect on his family, leading to his son suffering from depression and resuming drug use.
There was no truth in the Nazi slur and Mr Mosley took legal action against the former News International Sunday title and won £60,000 in damages, but he still said that privacy laws did nothing to protect victims because once the story was published, newspapers knew most legal action could not repair the damage and was only open to the rich.
Further, he highlighted how legal action can be ineffective when it comes to online news.
Google had said "We don't and can't control what others post online. But when we're told that a specific page is illegal under a court order, then we move quickly to remove it from our search results."
The Harry Potter author told the Inquiry that she had taken action against publications about 50 times over alleged breaches of privacy and misreporting as part of a 12-year running battle with newspapers, which she said had included being driven out the first house she owned because of the constant presence of photographers.
On one occasion she found a note from a journalist inside her then five-year-old daughter's school bag and in another incident she claimed a reporter from the Scottish edition of The Sun had contacted her daughter's headmaster with a false claim she had upset her classmates by revealing that Harry Potter died in the final book in the series.
However, Ms Rowling also stressed that she strongly supported freedom of speech, saying: "I think there are truly heroic journalists in Britain.”
The Welsh former child opera prodigy told the Inquiry how she had waived a fee of £100,000 to sing at Rupert Murdoch’s wedding when she was 13 in exchange for a promise of future favourable coverage in his newspapers, but that News International – which denied any such agreement - soon broke this with intrusion, negative press and character assassination in The Sun and News of the World.
She said she felt "horrible" when The Sun ran a "count-down clock" in the run-up to her 16th birthday – the date at which she hit the age of consent and sex became legal, and accused the paper of hacking her phone in order to reveal details about her first pregnancy.
She also criticised the printing of a story that insensitively claimed that her mother had tried to kill herself "because her husband was a love rat hooked on cocaine and three-in-a-bed sex". She said it was "unnatural for a daughter to know this about her parents".
In some of the most startling and controversial testimony since the Inquiry began, NOTW’s former deputy features editor lifted the lid what he felt was standard journalistic practice and claimed Andy Coulson brought phone hacking "wholesale with him when he was appointed deputy editor".
He also challenged the legal right to privacy and claimed dictators in China and Iran would be "laughing" at the inquiry, and branded Coulson and Rebekah Brooks "scum" for "trying to drop me and my colleagues in it".
After relaying a story about personally attempting to hack David Beckham's phone it took a personal warning from Lord Leveson on self-incrimination to halt him in full flow.
The former Downing Street 'spinner-in-chief' admitted that he believed Cherie Blair's former style guru, Carole Caplin was tipping off newspapers before it was revealed that her phone had been targeted by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, commissioned by News of the World
He said that police had also told him about invoices that had been found which suggested the newspaper where he had once been the political editor, the Daily Mirror, had paid a private investigator to look at him, his family and the former Labour Cabinet minister, Peter Mandelson.
Giving evidence in a room occupied only by lawyers to protect his identity, the former News of the World investigations editor, often referred to as ‘the fake sheikh’ for his use of disguises, told the Inquiry into that his work had led to more than 260 "successful criminal prosecutions", including his most high-profile inquiry into Pakistani cricketers who were subsequently convicted of match-fixing.
Responding to a question over whether he believed that if there was a conflict between what he perceived as a famous person's public persona and the story, then it was worth investigating: "If it's hypocrisy then very much. If they present themselves as wholesome characters and trade on that status then I think it's totally justified."
He said he was unaware of phone-hacking at the paper prior to the arrest of its royal editor Clive Goodman in 2006.
When Mr Mahmood appeared before the Inquiry again on 26 January he admitted to deliberately altering the digital record of a story when he was at The Sunday Times in 1988 to hide a crucial mistake, lied about his cover-up and then resigned before he could be fired.
The 'Neville' named in the infamous "for Neville" email at the heart of the phone hacking scandal, and former NOTW chief reporter said he had been "proud" to work for the now-defunct Sunday tabloid.
Mr Thurlbeck, who was arrested last April by police investigating the phone hacking scandal, revealed that the average payment for a 'kiss and tell' which resulted in a front-page story was between £15,000 and £20,000.
Defending the public interest in publishing a story revealing an alleged affair between David Beckham and his personal assistant Rebecca Loos, Mr Thurlbeck said: "He was sponsored left, right and centre. He was always promoting himself with his family as a happy modern man. It was a wholesome image that the family cultivated and the public bought into on a massive scale, and we exposed that as a sham."
13 & 14 December
On his first day of testimony the former News International legal manager told the Inquiry he thought the claim that phone hacking was restricted to ex-royal editor Clive Goodman was "erroneous from the outset", and that it would come back to haunt him.
Returning the following day, Mr Crone claimed that NI chairman James Murdoch was shown "hard evidence" that phone hacking inside the News of the World went beyond a lone rogue reporter more than three years ago.
Mr Crone said the crucial ‘for Neville’ email was held up in front of Mr Murdoch at a meeting on 10 June 2008, and may have been passed across a table to him when he authorised a record confidential damages settlement with Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, in June 2008.
14 & 15 December
The former News of the World editor told the Inquiry that he feared there were "bombs under the newsroom floor" in the form of a history of illegal practices at the paper when he took over from Andy Coulson in 2007, following the jailing of royal editor Clive Goodman.
Referring to these ‘bombs’, he said: “I didn't know where they were and I didn't know when they were going to go off.
"That was my own view. But trying to get the evidence or establishing the evidence that sadly the police already had was another matter."
He is now known to have sent an email to James Murdoch in 2008 discussing how NOTW hacking went further than Goodman or Mulcaire.
The enigmatic former tabloid editor-turned-talkshow host appeared by video link from Los Angeles to deny any knowledge of phone hacking at the Daily Mirror while he was in charge.
The majority of questioning focused on the source of a taped telephone conversation between Heather Mills and her then husband, Sir Paul McCartney, that he boasted about hearing in a Daily Mail article in 2006. Admitting to having heard the conversation, he added: "I can't discuss where I heard that tape or who made it."
Despite dropping hints in diaries and interviews that he knew the techniques and pitfalls of phone hacking, he repeatedly said the references were made 10 years ago and he could not remember who it was that made him aware of these.
Appearing only the day after Morgan, this former Daily Mirror financial reporter claimed phone hacking at the paper was a "bog-standard journalistic tool" used "every day", and which was "entirely accepted by senior editors", contrary to what the paper’s former editor had told the Inquiry the day before.
Hipwell’s description of Morgan’s editorship was in vast contrast to Morgan’s own portrait of himself as a ‘hands-off’ executive. In reference to the showbiz desk, where Hipwell said there was frequent laughing and joking about phone hacking, he said: “Nothing really happened on that desk without Piers knowing about it."
In the first hearing after Christmas, the former Sun editor defended his "bullish" approach to editing the paper while he acknowledged that the publication had now become "more cautious".
He told the inquiry he did not spend much time worrying about journalistic ethics or which stories would sell more copies, leaving it to his readers to decide whether his decisions were right.
MacKenzie, who edited The Sun from 1981 to 1994, also insisted that Rupert Murdoch never put him under commercial pressure and in fact often felt that he went too far.
He had previously described the Inquiry as "ludicrous" and suggested it is only being held because of David Cameron's "obsessive arse-kissing" of Rupert Murdoch.
9 January & 7 February
Despite appearing the same day as one of his most famous predecessors, the present Sun editor described a completely different newspaper to the one MacKenzie spoke about in the morning.
Mohan said he sought to distance his regime from the 'anything goes' practices of the tabloid's past, and that his staff now ad to attend seminars on ethics, Samaritan-led workshops on suicide and discussions about how to treat and understand Travellers.
He also said that Rupert Murdoch had drastically scaled back his day-to-day involvement with the paper, saying: "Sometimes he might ring several times a week; other times I might not hear from him for a month or two."
Mohan was called back on February 7 to answer questions largely focused around phone hacking while he was the editor of The Sun's showbiz column, 'Bizarre'.
Facing enquiries from Robert Jay QC about various stories that referenced telephone calls between celebrities, Mohan responded by saying that could not remember specifics about sources, but that he was "not aware that illegal accessing of voicemail was the source of any of these stories."
He also defended the paper's Page 3 photographs of topless models, claiming the pictures are a "British institution" and that "Page 3 girls are ambassadors for the Sun, a paper that has run campaigns on women's issues such as domestic violence."
The editor of the Financial Times told the Inquiry that his paper's code of conduct was "a model for self-regulation," and claimed that it was stricter than the current system set out by the PCC.
Barber described the relationship of the FT with its readers as one of trust and that employees who devalued the reputation of the paper faced dismissal.
He also said the closure of the News of the World had served as a "wake-up call" to the industry and urged for the introduction of a "new body of independent regulation which is robust, credible and worthy of joining".
The new independent press regulator should have powers to impose fines, require corrections to be published prominently and launch investigations, according to Barber.
The editor of The Independent told the Inquiry that he was "worried" that its outcome could curtail the industry's ability to continue investigative journalism, even though the PCC needed "substantial reform".
Blackhurst suggested any new regulator could operate in the way the Law Society or the General Medical Council governed the practices of lawyers and doctors. However, Lord Justice Leveson said this could be problematic because the state decides who can practise as a doctor or a solicitor, but journalists essentially practised the right to freedom of expression.
The Daily Telegraph editor reinforced Barber's comments earlier in the day, telling the Inquiry that the PCC was "clearly not fit for purpose" in its present form, and called for its replacement to have powers to launch its own investigations.
Gallagher said: "I think the PCC has never had investigative powers, and I'd very much like it to have those, to be able to - when there's been a systemic breakdown in standards - go into newsrooms, interview staff, seek emails, demand an audit trail to see how decisions have been taken."
Mr Gallagher said he was "hugely attracted" to the idea of a system of arbitration to resolve legal disputes before they go to court.
He also suggested more should be done to "increase the nature of pariah status" for publishers that refuse to sign up to the regulator, proposing that the industry "could and should do a great deal more to ensure that rogue publishers are given no access to the benefit enjoyed by everybody else".
The former Daily Telegraph editor, who was at the helm when the paper broke the MPs’ expenses scandal, told the Inquiry that the story was “laced with risk” but he felt a duty to make it public.
He said there were initial worries about being hoaxed over the story that was based on information contained on a computer disk that the newspaper paid about £150,000 for.
Lewis said he consulted lawyers before entering negotiations to buy the data, which a Telegraph team was given 10 days to make a preliminary examination of, and who soon found evidence of abuses of the parliamentary expenses system.
Lewis joined News International in September 2010 and now sits on News Corporation's management and standards committee, which is looking at the phone-hacking scandal.
The beginning of testimony from the Daily Express editor centred around the paper's extensive coverage of the Madeline McCann case, and the eventual printing of a front page apology and £550,000 payout to the McCanns after publishing defamatory articles.
When asked about the Express's withdrawal from the PCC when he was deputy editor, he said that the regulator could have done more to prevent the publishing of defamatory articles, claiming that "everybody had too much leeway".
In response to suggestions that the newspaper presents a particular version of the news, he said: "We don't twist anything. We just present the news of the day," and claimed that a specific editorial line is not laid out to reporters, but that "they absorb it".
Whittow also said that the laid-back picture Kelvin MacKenzie painted of his newsroom at The Sun, where he used to work, was not one he recognised. He said journalists would be told "in no uncertain terms" if they made mistakes under MacKenzie, and that it was "a very professional, tight-run ship."
The Express editor at the time of Madeline McCann's disappearance and subsequent coverage - which included a 100-day period of featuring a story about her on the front page - denied he had been "obsessed" with the case, and blamed Portuguese police for giving the paper false information.
Coverage included published allegations that the McCanns had been responsible for their daughter's death, and a 2008 libel action ended in the paper paying out £550,000.
Defending the publishing of the accusations, he said: "I did not accuse them of killing their child. The story that I ran were the people that did accuse them and those were the Portuguese police."
Following the revelation that the Express group was using convicted private investigator Steve Whittamore's firm's services as late as 2010 by the group's legal manager Nicole Patterson earlier in the day, Hill said he had "no idea" whether private investigators were ever used.
"To my knowledge, we never used anything at that time," he said.
The Express Newspapers owner told the Inquiry that his papers were "scapegoated" over their coverage of the McCann case, saying his titles were "the only honest ones and straightforward ones" for the way they printed a front-page apology to the missing girl's parents and paid them £550,000 in a libel settlement.
He claimed "every paper was doing the same thing" but that they were the only ones to own up to their errors and "apologise properly". Desmond also criticised the way the ex-chairman of the PCC had "hung [former Express editor] Peter Hill out to dry".
Rationalising the Express's coverage of the McCann case, he said: "I don't wish to minimise it … and I'm not trying to win points here, but if there were 102 articles on the McCanns, and 38 bad ones … you could argue there were 68 or 70 good ones."
In a particularly startling testimony, Desmond referred to the PCC as "a useless organisation run by people who wanted tea and biscuits, and phone hackers," called Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre "the fat butcher" and said the Leveson Inquiry was "probably the worst thing that's ever happened for newspapers" in his lifetime.
The editor of the Daily Mirror conceded that phone hacking may well have taken place at the newspaper, and that the showbiz team may have been indulging in the practice while he was showbiz editor under Piers Morgan's editorship, backing up earlier evidence given by James Hipwell in November.
Wallace said it was possible that one of the paper's award-winning scoops – its 2002 exposé of the affair between Sveen-Göran Eriksson and Ulrika Jonsson – could have been obtained by phone hacking.
When asked about the source of the story, Wallace said he could not recall the details, but that it was possible that it could have come from phone hacking.
The Sunday Mirror's editor, Tina Weaver, also told the inquiry that she could not guarantee the practice had not taken place at her paper as well.
On the subject of privacy, the Private Eye editor defended the public interest in exposing former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Fred Goodwin's affair with an RBS board member, saying: "Is that his private life? Or is it permissible to write about that on the grounds that perhaps when you're taking major decisions involving risky financial manoeuvres, someone you're sleeping with doesn't say harshly, 'You're mad' at set times? You can see I believe that there is a defence there."
He also rejected calls for statutory regulation of the press, saying there was already adequate legislation in place to tackle legislation, but that the problem was this was not enforced strongly enough by police and politicians.
He said: "Contempt of court is illegal, phone tapping is illegal, policemen taking money is illegal. All of these things don't need a code, we already have laws for them."
Hislop also defended the use of 'blagging' by journalists, mentioning undercover investigations into whaling and the practice of lobbyists, and warned against introducing strict privacy laws like those found in France.
17 January & 7 February
At his first appearance before the enquiry the editor of The Times said his paper had concerns about paying for stolen good when it turned down the MPs' expenses story, eventually published by the Daily Telegraph, but that with hindsight he felt there was public interest in the story.
He also defended The Times's coverage of the phone-hacking scandal at fellow News International title News of the World, but said he wished his paper "had got on the story harder, earlier".
Echoing Sun editor Dominic Mohan's testimony earlier in the month, Harding said Rupert Murdoch had no influence over editorial decisions and said contact between himself and the proprietor was sporadic.
Harding was called back to the Inquiry on February 7 to clarify how much he and senior NI executives knew about the hacking of emails to expose the identity of an anonymous police blogger, something which had only been alluded to in the earlier hearing.
In a series of embarrassing admissions, Harding told the Inquiry he had no idea that his paper had fought an injunction preventing the identification of the award-winning Nightjack blogger as Lancashire Police's Detective Constable Richard Horton in 2009, or that Times graduate trainee Patrick Forster had gained unauthorised access to emails to ascertain the information until 10 days earlier.
Harding said he had been preoccupied with other news stories when he was sent an email that showed two of his most senior staff knew about the email hacking in May 2009.
He said he "sorely" regretted the intrusion and expected "better of The Times".
The Sunday Times editor admitted to the Inquiry that someone working for the paper had called Abbey National pretending to be Gordon Brown to obtain details about the former prime minister and then-chancellor's finances in 2000.
Witherow confirmed that the paper "blagged" information from the bank as part of an investigation into Mr Brown's purchase of a flat from a company owned by the late media baron Robert Maxwell.
The Sunday Times has argued that the story was in the public interest and that this would provide a defence to any charges brought under the Data Protection Act for accessing personal details, and Witherow told the Inquiry that the paper "believed that Mr Brown had purchased the flat at a cheaper price than valuers had put on it at the time".
Witherow said the paper has employed blagging and impersonation, including employing an actor as part of a deception, but has never hacked phones.
The editor played down the significance of occasional meetings with senior politicians, saying: "When you meet them in private, you don't often learn much more than you would from their speeches or when they are giving interviews on TV."
Echoing testimony from editors of its newspapers, News International's CEO told the Inquiry Rupert Murdoch remained relatively hands-off in his dealings with the papers.
Mockridge, who took over from Rebekah Brooks last July, said he spoke to the News Corp owner a couple of times a week, or sometimes not at all, and that Murdoch's main interest was in business and advertising.
He also stated his objection to state intervention of the press, instead praising models in Italy and Hong Kong.
Lauding the state of the British press, he said: "Everything might not be perfect, but if we look at the great array of the newspaper stories published in this country in last decade there's only a minute fraction that are of interest to this inquiry."
The Guardian editor discussed possible new regulation models with the Inquiry. He explained how he had resigned from the PCC editors' code committee after the regulator released its flawed report on phone hacking in November 2009, which he said "so undermined the principle of self-regulation".
He said he "wouldn't be against the use of statute" if a regulator could enforce its powers to deal with libel complaints but added that The Guardian would "utterly reject anything that looks like state licensing and we reject anything that looks like politicians or the state having any kind of say in the content of newspapers".
Rusbridger also expressed his disappointment at new rules that require senior politicians to log any meetings they have with newspaper editors.
"If you make it too rigorous, that you have to note every single meeting, then I think that militates against the flow of information between politicians and the press," he told the Inquiry.
Noting previous Guardian editors who had much closer relationships with the prime ministers of their time, he said: "Lloyd George used to run his cabinet changes past CP Scott before he did them, so I don't think this is a new problem."
On The Guardian getting it wrong about the Milly Dowler deletions, Rusbridger said: "I think there are people who are trying to elevate this into a primary issue now who didn't think it was at the time, and I don't think anybody thinks that – well, I think when you track back the reasons that were given for the closure of News of the World at the time, they certainly weren't that."
The BBC spent £310,000 on private detectives over six years, according to the corporation's director-general's testimony.
He told the inquiry that investigators were hired 232 times by the BBC between January 2005 and July 2011 – and in one case the BBC used Steve Whittamore, who was later convicted of illegally accessing personal data.
Whittamore was commissioned to find out whether a paedophile had boarded a flight to Heathrow Airport, which Mr Thompson said was "justified in the public interest".
Thompson said that he commissioned a wide-ranging review of the BBC's editorial practices last July, covering phone hacking, "blagging" information, paying police and other public officials for information and the use of private detectives, and found no evidence that any of the corporation's staff had hacked phones or made improper payments to police officers.
He described the ‘Sachsgate’ scandal of 2008, when BBC Radio 2 broadcasted Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand's lewd answering machine messages for Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs, as "a very serious lapse of editorial judgment".
On the issue of media regulation, Thompson said: "Historically the BBC has argued against a statutory foundation, preferring instead the idea of royal charters given over 10-year periods, precisely to stop the risk of political change to its constitution in mid-flight."
The RMT union general secretary told the Inquiry about what he described as a decade of "harassment" by the media.
He described how his travel details had been blagged from the DVLA driving database by convicted private investigator Steve Whittamore and were then passed on to The Mail on Sunday, which ran a story about Crow being given a scooter ride during a partial Tube closure.
He said he found it strange that a photographer was outside his house waiting as he set off, but had no proof that his phone had been hacked.
He disputed the assurance recently made to the inquiry by the Sunday Times editor, John Witherow, that his paper did not engage in "fishing trips".
"But they certainly go on refuse trips," Mr Crow said, claiming that a Sunday Times freelancer searched bins outside an RMT annual meeting, and resembled the cartoon feline Top Cat with his head in the bin.
Stephen 'Stig' Abell:
After submitting 408 pages of formal written evidence, the then-PCC director was thanked by Lord Justice Leveson for his "monumental effort" in assisting the Inquiry.
Discussing the way the PCC works, Abell described it as "primarily a complaints-handling body," and not a regulator as set out in its articles of association.
He said that the PCC's annual report of 2010 showed more than 7,000 complaints and 1,687 rulings, pointing out that some complainants will merely "dash off a quick email" and not follow it up.
Although the PCC will mediate payments for newspapers to complainants, it has no power to force a paper to settle financially, he said.
Abell was asked about two specific cases – firstly TV presenter Clare Balding's 2010 complaint over being described as a 'dyke on a bike' in the Sunday Times, and secondly, the 22,000 complaints over a Jan Moir column in the Daily Mail about the circumstances surrounding singer Stephen Gately's death in 2009 – and responded that he stood by the original PCC ruling on the Balding complaint that the words used were in a "demeaning and gratuitous way," but that the Moir article was just short of a breach of the PCC code, and that it was a difficult point to rule on.
Abell admitted that there is "a limit on the power of sanction" of the PCC and suggested there should be a way of "increasing the power of critical sanction."
On the future of press regulation, he said there was a risk that legislation could lead to amendments being made and parliament encroaching its way into the structure.
On 9 February Abell announced he would be standing down at the end of the month to join a PR consultancy.
DAC Sue Akers:
The Met's deputy assistant commissioner told the Inquiry that Operation Elveden, into illegal payments made by journalists to police officers, will shortly grow to 61 officers.
When Akers took the stand 14 people had already been arrested, including three police officers. Five Sun journalists – its deputy editor, chief reporter, chief foreign correspondent, deputy news editor and picture editor – and two Ministry of Defence officials and a Surrey police officer) were arrested on 11 February.
Akers told the inquiry that in the second half of last year Elveden had been focusing mainly on journalists at the News of the World.
Operation Weeting, the phone-hacking investigation, is currently staffed with 90 officers, but 35 are solely dealing with victims already identified.
She said the reason more journalists had been arrested than police officers was because journalists were protecting sources of their information.
The third inquiry, Operation Tuleta, set up to investigate computer hacking, was described as still at the "scoping" stage. However, Ms Akers said the Met was preparing to launch Tuleta as a full investigation.
She described Operation Weeting as "nearer the finishing line than the starting gun" and said she was "less confident" on Tuleta being nearer the end than the beginning.
The editor-in-chief refused to withdraw the accusation that Grant had lied “on oath” to Lord Justice Leveson, and accused the actor of being “obsessed with dragging the Daily Mail into another newspaper’s scandal.”
6 & 9 February
The editor-in-chief of Associated Newspapers, which publishes the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday, admitted to the Inquiry that he was aware that the newspaper was using search agencies, but not the extent to which they were doing so.
The fact that the Daily Mail had used private detective Steve Whittamore's agency was known to Dacre, but he told the Inquiry that Whittamore had assured him that he was working within the law.
Dacre said "every newspaper" had been using Whittamore at one stage, and defended his paper's use of such agencies, saying: "We needed to get to the people in a family to check a story. This was a quick and easy way to get to information. Time is everything in journalism."
He also called for a new press card system, where only journalists from print publications with accredited cards would be allowed access to certain events, and would be at risk being 'struck off' if found behaving improperly.
Defending Jan Moir's column on Stephen Gately's death, which sparked 22,000 complaints to the PCC, Dacre said the piece "could have benefited from a little judicious sub-editing" but that "there is not a homophobic bone in Jan Moir's body".
Dacre was recalled to the Inquiry on 9 February to answer further questions on The Mail on Sunday's description of Hugh Grant's earlier evidence - suggesting that the paper had hacked his phone - as a "mendacious smear".
The director of public prosecutions told the Inquiry that a set of clear guidelines on prosecuting journalists would be drawn up.
Keir Starmer said there is currently no specific CPS policy or guidance relating to the prosecution of journalists, but outlined the various provisions prosecutors have to take into account, especially when journalists rely on the public interest defence.
"It seems to me that it would be prudent to have a policy that sets out in one place the factors that prosecutors will take into account when considering whether or not to prosecute journalists acting in the course of their work as journalists," he told the Inquiry.
He announced an interim policy to be put in place and consulted on for 12 weks before a formal policy is drawn up.
The blogger, more commonly known by his internet pseudonym Guido Fawkes, accused Sunday Mirror editor, who sits on the PCC, of personally authorising her staff to obtain information by hacking and blagging.
Weaver said she was not aware of phone hacking being used under her editorship in earlier evidence to the Inquiry, but Staines alleged two journalists had told him that she had personally authorised them to hack, and that "she knows all the bad things that have gone under her rule".
The right-of-centre Guido Fawkes blog has a reputation for baiting the political and media establishment and is run offshore, which places it beyond the British legislative system and media regulators. Mr Staines's comments were also covered by privilege, so he cannot be sued.
He also claimed that the Daily Telegraph reporter Gordon Rayner – responsible for a 2009 story that revealed Staines's real identity and described him as "the journalistic equivalent of an arsonist" – of being a client of convicted private detective Steve Whittamore.
The former News of the World head of news told the Inquiry that he was ordered to deliberately deceive the McCann family after obtaining Kate McCann's personal diary.
He said that former editor Colin Myler had told Edmonson to phone the McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell and inform him that the paper was running a story, record the call, but "certainly don't tell him that we're in possession of the complete diaries". This deception, according to Edmondson, was to prevent the McCanns from taking action that might stop publication.
Edmondson's claims were at odds with Myler's evidence to the Inquiry in December, in which he said he had been told by Edmondson that he had cleared the story with Mitchell.
However, Lord Justice Leveson said a transcript of a phone call between Edmondson and Mitchell about the story the paper was planning was "most clearly ambiguous".
The former model and ex-wife of Sir Paul McCartney denied playing voicemails to Piers Morgan or anyone else in her testimony to the Inquiry, despite what the former Mirror editor had suggested in his evidence and in an article for the Daily Mail.
The now-chat show host Morgan previously told the inquiry he listened to a voicemail message left to Heather Mills by Sir Paul, but refused to say when or where he heard it because he wanted to protect a "source".
"I couldn't quite believe that he would even try to insinuate, a man that has written nothing but awful things about me for years, would relish in telling the court if I had played a voicemail message to him," she said.
After being left around 25 messages from Sir Paul asking for forgiveness following an argument, Mills said she was called by a former Trinity Mirror employee – not a Daily Mirror journalist, nor anybody working under Morgan – saying they had heard the message.
"I said, 'there's no way that you could know that unless you have been listening to my messages'," she told the inquiry.
She said she threatened to take legal action if the story was published, and it was not at the time.
The general secretary for the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) told the Inquiry how anonymous evidence she had collected from journalists had pointed to a bullying, intimidating atmosphere throughout the industry.
Despite their evidence being anonymous, Stanistreet said many journalists she spoke to "were too scared about their experiences being shared with the inquiry, petrified".
The main issues she raised with the Inquiry were bullying, sexual harassment and journalists being put under "intolerable pressure" to perform, saying the experiences she head of were “prevalent within the industry today".
One journalist with more than 30 years' experience on national titles including three years at News of the World told Stanistreet there was "tremendous pressure," and they were often given "impossible tasks" to complete.
Another journalist, with 32 years experience, became aware of "dark arts" practised on newspapers in the 1980s, with journalists regularly using private investigators. They said he had no reason to believe things had changed, with those who practiced the dark arts rising to senior positions today, they claimed.
Stanistreet also criticized Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre's proposal for a kite-marked press card scheme as a 'ridicuous notion,' saying it was impractical, unworkable and would put all blame on the journalist.
The 'PR guru,' famous for helping negotiate terms on which people could sell their stories to the press, told the Inquiry how he had come to an out of court settlement with Rebekah Brooks over the hacking of his telephone by News of the World.
He said: "It was over a quiet lunch not long after Rebekah had been made chief executive... It was £220,000 a year for three years plus all my legal costs."
Although a victim of hacking himself, Clifford said he believed hacking was confined to a few people under pressure to get stories.
Clifford praised the free press in Britain and the way it exposes scandals such as MPs expenses, but that essentially "people prefer to read nasty things about others than to read nice things".
Claiming that newspapers can "destroy people," Clifford said that a lot of his work is "damage limitation" and described stopping the News of the World identifying the woman who organised Max Mosley's orgy.
He also represented Robert Murat, who sued over stories libelling him in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and was eventually awarded £600,000 from four newspapers in 2008.
Clifford said Murat was "bordering on suicide" and that the PCC was of no use.
If there is to be a replacement of the PCC, Clifford said people need to be made more aware of it: "If you need an ambulance you know who to call," he adds. "If you are facing a potential media nightmare you need to know who to call."
Did not appear in module one
Refused status as a witness by Lord Justice Leveson in the first module of the Inquiry, the former News International CEO still featured heavily in the testimony of others.
On 14 November the Inquiry heard that Scotland Yard had provided material that suggested "wide-ranging illegal activity" at Wapping dating back to 2002, when Brooks was editor of News of the World, and continuing until 2009, during which time she had also been editor of The Sun.
Former News of the World deputy features editor Paul McMullan claimed phone hacking was "done for editors, Rebekah Brooks and [Andy] Coulson" and referred to them both as "the scum of journalism for trying to drop me and my colleagues in it."
After Max Clifford’s testimony on 19 February, in which he claimed Brooks personally authorized a £1m payout over the hacking of his telephone, there were calls from some MPs seeking fresh evidence from Brooks herself, as the money was paid at a time when the company was still insisting hacking was limited to a single royal reporter.
Following Brooks’ claims to a Commons committee in 2003 that journalists had paid police for information, Lord Justice Leveson said that her involvement was more focused on the second part of the Inquiry, which concentrates on the press’ relationship with the police.
On the second day of the module two, it was revealed that the Metropolitan Police loaned Brooks a retired police horse in 2008 during her editorship at The Sun, and while Lord Blair was Met Commissioner.
On 17 July 2011, Brooks was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption, one week after the publication of the final edition of News of the World and two days after stepping down as CEO of NI.
Brooks has denied any knowledge of wrongdoing.