Leading article: A crucial week for Leveson

Share
Related Topics

By the time part one of the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics finished taking evidence into phone hacking a few weeks ago, most people who had followed it felt somewhat wiser than they had been on the culture of wrongdoing that appeared to have flourished at one point in Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

That is as it should be. People have a right to know to what degree contempt for the law had become routine in some sections of the media. But the bigger question is why the police tacitly allowed or were actively complicit in these unlawful practices over many years. This is why the second part of the inquiry, Module 2, into the relationship between the press and the police, which starts today, is so important.

The list of names appearing this week starts with Sue Akers, current head of Scotland Yard's investigation into phone hacking, who takes the stand today, and Philip Williams, who led the original investigation, who will appear two days later. Thursday will be an especially important day, when the former Met Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, and the former Assistant Commissioner, John Yates, both of whom resigned last July following criticism of their handling of the original inquiry, appear.

We deserve some more satisfactory answers about the police's conduct than the ones we have been presented with so far, starting with why Surrey Police knew about but did not investigate the News of the World for hacking into the phone of the murdered teenager Milly Dowler almost a decade ago. From then on, until the Met's failure in 2009 to reopen the investigation, which Mr Yates last year admitted was a "pretty crap" decision, the trail of errors and cover-ups – we still don't know enough about the motives behind these actions – continued.

There are two more modules to go in the inquiry, but when the report arrives, the hope is that it brings some clarity to the business of whether it was incompetence or something much worse that lay behind years of repeated failures to get to the bottom of the phone-hacking saga. If the close links that existed between the Yard and News International are not properly explained, we should all feel short-changed.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Read Next
Former N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos gives a statement outside Southwark Crown Court after her trial  

It would be wrong to compare brave Tulisa’s ordeal with phone hacking. It’s much worse than that

Matthew Norman
The Big Society Network was assessed as  

What became of Cameron's Big Society Network?

Oliver Wright
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn