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Lord Justice Leveson ends Inquiry by thanking journalists

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Original Source:  TELEGRAPH: 28 JULY 2012
By Telegraph reporters
4:08PM BST 24 Jul 2012
 

The Leveson Inquiry into press behaviour ended today with the chairman thanking journalists for their coverage of the eight months of evidence
 

Lord Justice Leveson Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Chairman Lord Justice Leveson concluded proceedings by thanking journalists who had reported on the eight-month inquiry. He did not reveal when a report would be published but said it would be as soon as he "reasonably could."

 

 

"It's an interesting moment," said Lord Justice Leveson, as the hearing in London drew to a close.

 

 

"The gathering of formal evidence by the examination of witnesses is now at an end."

 

 

He added: "I thank the press who have reported on the inquiry, for keeping everybody informed."

 

 

Lord Justice Leveson said he recognised the "urgency" of providing a report for ministers and "interested parties".

 

 

"For me and for the team, we have only just started," he said. "I will produce a report as soon as I reasonably can."

 

Earlier Barrister David Sherborne, who represents celebrities and members of public who claim they have been victims of press misbehaviour, told the Leveson Inquiry that newspaper bosses were "scared".

 

He said someone had to take a "very firm grip" of the "tabloid press".

 

"We are not here to focus on the good journalists. We don't need an inquiry for them. We are here to consider the bad ones," said Mr Sherborne.

 

"The Press is on trial here, and not simply in this room but also out there in the court of public opinion. And they know it. That is why they are so scared of what evidence has been heard here."

 

Mr Sherborne was making a closing submission on behalf of "victims" as the inquiry in London neared its end.

 

"Unless someone takes a grip, a very firm grip, of the tabloid press, we will be back to the same position as soon as the spotlight is turned off and the ink is dry on your report," he told Lord Justice Leveson.

 

"And we are all concerned it may be payback time - payback for those who have sought to stand up. Hopefully the Press will resist the temptation once this is over."

 

"We are not here to focus on the good journalists. We don't need an inquiry for them. We are here to consider the bad ones," said Mr Sherborne.

 

"The Press is on trial here, and not simply in this room but also out there in the court of public opinion. And they know it. That is why they are so scared of what evidence has been heard here."

 

Mr Sherborne was making a closing submission on behalf of "victims" as the inquiry in London neared its end.

 

"Unless someone takes a grip, a very firm grip, of the tabloid press, we will be back to the same position as soon as the spotlight is turned off and the ink is dry on your report," he told Lord Justice Leveson.

 

"And we are all concerned it may be payback time - payback for those who have sought to stand up. Hopefully the Press will resist the temptation once this is over."

 

Mr Sherborne represented witnesses including actor Hugh Grant, actress Siena Miller, Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of missing youngster Madeleine McCann, and Bob and Sally Dowler, parents of murdered teenager Milly Dowler.

 

He said witnesses such as the McCanns and the Dowlers were "ordinary members of the public" who had explained how their lives were "shattered by being caught in the cross hair" of press attention.

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