UK & World News
Leveson Names Govt 'Core Participants'
Eight Government ministers have been granted "core participant status" in the Leveson Inquiry, giving them access to documents in advance.
The chairman of the Inquiry, Lord Justice Leveson, said that the Prime Minister, Chancellor, Deputy Prime Minister and five others had been granted the status.
A core participant is someone judged to have significant interest in the hearing, or who may face criticism during the Inquiry.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is among those named core participants, despite being criticised for email exchanges between his office and News Corporation.
They will have advance access to witness statements and documents, and the right to put questions to other witnesses through lawyers.
Education Secretary Michael Gove, Business Secretary Vince Cable, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke and Home Secretary Theresa May were also granted the status.
There are currently eight other organisations listed as core participants, including the Metropolitan Police and News International.
Former News Of The World (NOTW) editor Rebekah Brooks is also a core participant, as is Tom Watson MP, Lord Prescott and six other individuals.
The Leveson Inquiry was ordered by Prime Minister David Cameron last year after the NOTW admitted intercepting voicemail messages.
On Tuesday, a Culture, Media and Sport select committee report criticised News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch and his son James over the way they dealt with the phone-hacking scandal.
Both Murdochs gave evidence to the inquiry last week, with Rupert Murdoch saying there was a cover-up at the NOTW to hide the scale of the wrongdoing.