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David Cameron may be called to face Leveson Inquiry

The prime minister, his predecessor, and the opposition leader are all expected to be called, the London Times has reported.

Image: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

BRITAIN’S PRIME MINISTER David Cameron is reportedly expected to be summoned to give evidence to the UK’s judicial inquiry into the ethics and conduct of the press.

The London Times newspaper reports that Lord Justice Leveson is “99.9 per cent certain” to ask the Prime Minister to attend the inquiry so that he can be questioned, under oath, about his relationship with newspaper proprietors including Rupert Murdoch.

Citing a source close to the inquiry, it adds that Cameron’s predecessor as prime minister Gordon Brown, and the current Labour leader Ed Miliband, are also expected to be called to give similar evidence.

Rupert Murdoch himself is also set to be called in front of the inquiry to discuss his relationship with politicians, the paper says.

A Downing Street spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph that no requests had been made for Cameron to attend the inquiry, but that he would “of course attend” if asked to do so.

Another told Bloomberg:

We haven’t received any request, but when the prime minister announced we were setting up the inquiry he made very clear it would have the ability to call politicians, including serving politicians and past prime ministers.

Any request for the men to appear is not likely to come for some time, however, because the inquiry is firstly discussing the relationship of the press with the public, and then its relationship with the police.

That second stand will not begin until police inquiries into alleged corruption between police officers and journalists have been concluded, and prosecutions brought.

Today the hearing is receiving testimony from editors of broadsheet newspapers including the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and the Financial Times.

Earlier, Independent editor Chris Blackhurst revealed that controversial writer Johann Hari – who was suspended from the newspaper last year amid significant evidence of plagiarism – would be returning to duty within the next four to five weeks.

Financial Times editor Lionel Barber told the inquiry that his own paper’s code of conduct aspired to be “the gold standard in journalism”, he would welcome the establishment of a new independent press regulator.

All journalists, the BBC quotes Barber as saying, should sign up to a new body which was “robust, credible and worthy of joining”.

Yesterday, the Sun’s former editor Kelvin McKenzie said he did not spent much time worrying about journalistic ethics during his tenure – saying it was up to his readers to decide whether his judgements were correct.

Its current editor Dominic Mohan said online publications should be regulated in the same manner as printed ones, or else the printed press could be dealt a “mortal blow”.

WATCH: Leveson inquiry into media ethics

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Gavan Reilly

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