According to the Independent government ministers appearing at Leveson will get free legal advice paid for by the taxpayer in relation to the enquiry-a Tribunal enquiry not a Court. This also presumably includes expensive external Counsel.
This ought really to be classified as legal aid with a small l and a small a-free legal advice paid for by the taxpayer. Is it right that millionaires should be getting this just after Clarke and Cameron have removed legal aid from 650,000 and where neither of their "lives, liberty or home are at stake" (as far as we are aware), particularly given Clarke is a lawyer and he has insisted on the "user friendly" nature of Tribunals where lawyers are not needed? A big public fuss needs to be made about this. Link below Independent :
"Last summer, as a storm over phone hacking raged around Rebekah Brooks, a friend texted her with consoling advice. Not long afterwards, she resigned from her job as the chief executive of News International and was almost immediately arrested and bailed by detectives investigating allegations of phone hacking. The friend who texted, according to a new biography by James Hanning and Francis Elliott, was David Cameron. The authors say that Brooks's husband Charlie told friends about the message, which urged her to "keep her head up and she'd get through her difficulties". That doesn't say much for Cameron's judgement, but it's an insight into the close relationship with Brooks.
Their friendship will come under the spotlight tomorrow when Brooks appears before the Leveson Inquiry. In an eventful week, the inquiry heard yesterday that the News of the World did hack Milly Dowler's phone, but the truth about voicemail deletions might never be known; and Cameron's former communications chief, Andy Coulson, is due to give evidence today.
Last week, Cameron was one of eight Cabinet ministers who made a late application to become "core participants" in the inquiry, allowing them to see key witness statements in advance. After Jeremy Hunt's mauling last month, when the Culture Secretary had no notice of emails handed to the inquiry by James Murdoch, I can see why they were keen to acquire this status. But there's an important question about which parts of their involvement can be funded at public expense......................."