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Report: Barristers kept Santorini trip quiet from Leveson

Lord Justice Leveson reportedly only learned of the pair's holiday to the Greek island of Santorini in recent days. Credit: Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

Barristers David Sherborne and Carine Patry Hoskins reportedly went on holiday together to Santorini in August, days after the public hearings concluded and months before the inquiry ended.

But they are said to maintain that their relationship did not begin until after the Leveson Report was published in November.

Reports suggest Mr Sherborne, 44, and Ms Patry Hoskins, 40, did not tell Lord Justice Leveson that they had become close and he only learnt of their trip to Santorini in recent days.

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Who are the barristers at the centre of 'Loverson' affair?

Carine Patry Hoskins became known as the "woman on the left" in reference to her regular seated position during the Leveson Inquiry's televised hearings.

She served as the junior counsel in the Leveson team led by Robert Jay QC.

Carine Patry Hoskins' input into the final report was limited to gathering facts. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

Barrister David Sherborne represented phone-hacking victims at the Inquiry, most notably Hugh Grant, and questioned Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre on the newspaper's coverage of the actor.

Hugh Grant was accompanied by David Sherborne to give evidence last November at the Leveson Inquiry. Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Archive

Watch: Key celebrity appearances at the Leveson Inquiry

Leveson defends junior counsel in letter to MP

Lord Justice Leveson said Ms Patry Hoskins' role was "confined to the collation of facts" in the final stages of his inquiry. Credit: Lukas Coch/AAP

Lord Justice Leveson's letter responded to Conservative MP Rob Wilson, who had demanded the judge examine the relationship between Carine Patry Hoskins and David Sherborne.

Mr Wilson wrote to the Bar Standards Board requesting an investigation into the impact of the barristers' private relations on the role both played during the inquiry.

Lord Justice Leveson said it was "a matter for the Board to decide, what, if any, action to take", adding: "In the circumstances, I do not comment further."

But he unequivocally defended the role of Ms Patry Hoskins, who he said had "absolutely no input into any conclusions" reached by the inquiry.

Click here to read Lord Justice Leveson's full letter to MP Rob Wilson.

Leveson: No conspiracy threat in barristers' relationship

Barrister David Sherborne and inquiry counsel Carine Patry Hoskins reportedly holidayed together while the inquiry was still ongoing. Credit: Ian Nicholson and Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

Lord Justice Leveson has rejected claims that a previously undisclosed relationship between two of the barristers in his inquiry into press freedom threatened the legitimacy of its subsequent report.

The judge has said today in a letter that there was "simply no room" for a "breach of confidence or other conspiracy" as a result of personal relations between Carine Patry Hoskins, the inquiry's junior counsel, and barrister David Sherborne.

'Small-scale blogs' could be exempt from press regulation

Conservative Home Office minister Lord Taylor suggested 'mall-scale' blogs could be exempt from new press regulations. Credit: DPA

The Government has tabled an amendment in the House of Lords to exclude "small-scale" blogs from a new scheme of press regulation.

The short amendment, put forward by Home Office minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach, is expected to be debated tonight when peers discuss additions to the Crime and Courts Bill that would allow for exemplary damages and the awarding of costs against publishers who choose not to join a new regulator.

Lord Taylor's amendment would add "a person who publishes a small-scale blog" to the list of people and organisations who will be exempted from the new regulatory regime.

The list already includes bodies such as the BBC, book publishers and people who produce business newsletters.

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FT attacks 'unsatisfactory' press regulation plans

The FT joins an opposition press group that includes The Times, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail. Credit: Bodo Marks

The Financial Times has become the latest newspaper to oppose the all-party endorsed press regulation proposals.

The newspaper said the proposed new regime, following the Leveson inquiry, is "unsatisfactory" under a headline of "a muddle may be as bad as a muzzle".

"Too many hours and too much money have been spent on a process which has delivered a deeply unsatisfactory result," it concluded.

Ashdown: PM has made a 'colossal blunder' on press

Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown
Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown Credit: Peter Jordan/PA Archive/Press Association Images

David Cameron has made a colossal "strategic blunder" by withdrawing from talks on the creation of a new system of press regulation, former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown has said.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's The Week in Westminster, to be broadcast today, Ashdown said that Cameron has angered his own MPs, supporters in the media and his Lib Dem coalition partners.

"I have not seen an avoidable strategic blunder made by a British prime minister or indeed the leader of a British political party which matches that of Mr Cameron over Leveson," he said .

"He marched his troops up to the top of the hill and then he had to march them back down again.

"In terms of strategy, this seems to me to make the Grand Old Duke of York look like a military genius."

Mr Cameron broke off talks with Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg on the implementation of the Leveson report on press standards after the Labour and Lib Dem leaders insisted the planned new regulator should be reinforced by legislation.

Report: Labour try to exempt blogs from regulation

The Daily Mirror political correspondent Tom McTague is reporting that Labour is trying to change the plans for press regulation to exempt blogs:

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Labour table amendment to Royal Charter proposals due to be debated int the Lords on Mon. Means blogs etc to be exempt from watchdog remit

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Lab's Leveson clause removes any site "written by one person.. where financial turnover .. is small or site not run primarily for profit.”

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The Royal Charter clause also covers "small blogs.. edited with a series of contributors"

The Times has ‘serious concerns’ about press regulation

Philip Webster, editor of digital editions of The Times, said the newspaper had “very serious concerns” about the press regulation proposals.

“We have serious concerns, we are looking at those concerns," he told ITV News UK Editor Lucy Manning.

“We are worried about the proposals for exemplary damages, we’re worried about the proposals for apologies, we’re worried about the overall cost of the plan.

“But we have yet to decide what to do, we are in no hurry.”

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