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Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron to be 'core participants' in Leveson Inquiry

Friday, 4 May 2012

*Eight government ministers, including prime minister David Cameron and culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, have been given 'core participant' status in the Leveson Inquiry ahead of key hearings which are due to take place next week.

Rebekah Brooks is due to give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry (Picture: PA)

A special sitting, which took place at 2pm this afternoon, saw Lord Justice Leveson consider the application and grant permission for certain government members to see witness statements and documents in advance.

It also means they can put questions to other witnesses in the inquiry through their lawyers.

Core participant status is generally awarded to those who have some significant interest in the hearings or may face criticism during them.

The move comes ahead of what could be a tough week for the government in the inquiry, with both former Sun editor Andy Coulson and ex-News Of The World editor Rebekah Brooks set to give their evidence.

Mrs Brooks is already a key core participant in the inquiry, with others including the Metropolitan Police and News International.

Former Sun editor Andy Coulson will also be among those giving evidence next week (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

It is likely she will be asked about her relationships with politicians and senior police officers when she gives her evidence

This comes amid speculation over her close friendship with David Cameron, with the Daily Telegraph's Peter Oborne claiming earlier this week that at one point the prime minister was texting her up to a dozen times a day.Mrs Brooks is due before the inquiry on May 11, the day after Mr Coulson - the former Downing Street communications director - gives his evidence.

Others who will give evidence next week include Mail Online editor Martin Clarke, as well as Daily Mail and Mail On Sunday owner Viscount Rothermere.
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