UK & World News
Leveson Insists He Has No 'Hidden Agenda'
Lord Justice Leveson has insisted he has no "hidden agenda" to stifle press freedom.
The judge, who is heading the inquiry into media standards, said he would not be deterred from fulfilling his terms of reference.
He made a statement following reports suggesting he was ready to resign after Education Secretary Michael Gove said his inquiry was having a "chilling" effect.
He acknowledged there were concerns within the media about the impact of the inquiry, but insisted that he was fully committed to press freedom.
"I also understand that, on every day of the inquiry, every exchange I have with a witness will be analysed in order to reveal a hidden agenda. There is none," he said.
"No recommendations have been formulated or written. No conclusions have yetbeen reached."
The judge's statement followed a newspaper report revealing he had contacted Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood.
He made contact after Education Secretary Michael Gove expressed concern over the "chilling" effect the probe was having on freedom of speech.
The Prime Minister subsequently said his minister had made an "important point" - prompting Lord Justice Leveson to seek assurances that the Government had not formed a view before his final report.
The call, which took place in February, was only revealed by The Mail on Sunday earlier this month.
Inquiry sources have denied the newspaper's suggestion that the judge was ready to quit over the incident.
Later, the inquiry is due to take evidence from senior journalists including Mail on Sunday political editor Simon Walters.
Philip Webster of The Times, The Independent's Andy Grice and Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow are also on the witness list.
what do you think?
Michael Gove; the single-most bungling and incompetent of MPs. There has been more controversy surrounding this person than any other previous cabinet member. His breathtaking arrogance is surpassed only by his glaring inabilities and it appears every time he opens his mouth he offends. It's a strange day indeed when I find myself agreeing with Nick Clegg, however, he (Clegg) has identified this meddling trouble-maker among the Tories and has been forced to speak-out. Quite-right, too. Michael Gove; a complete nobody with no track-record, no achievements, little credibility and a great opinion of one person in particular; himself. What a liability.
Good to see journalists desperately trying to discredit the Leveson enquiry. It's as if phone hacking never happened!