McCanns join other ‘victims’ in phone hacking probe
The parents of Madeleine McCann, actor Hugh Grant, and Harry Potter creator JK Rowling were named today as core participants in the first stage of the inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal.
They are among a group of "victims" who will be represented by a barrister and have the right to seek to cross-examine witnesses and make opening and closing statements.
The group also includes Formula 1 boss Max Mosley; Chris Jefferies, the former landlord of alleged murder victim Jo Yeates; ex-England footballer Paul Gascoigne; and Bob and Sally Dowler, the parents of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
Core participant status was granted by Lord Justice Leveson who will preside over the inquiry, the first part of which will look at the culture, ethics and practices of the press and its relationship with the police and politicians.
Although participants have the right to seek to cross-examine, Lord Justice Leveson said he anticipated he would "significantly limit (if not refuse) such applications".
He added that he might also allow non-core participants to make written closing submissions.
Others given the core participant (CP) status include serving Members of Parliament - Chris Bryant, Tessa Jowell, Simon Hughes and Denis MacShane, and former MPs such as Lord Prescott and Mark Oaten, who resigned as the Lib Dems' home affairs spokesman in 2006 over an affair with a rent boy.
The world of showbusiness will be well-represented with actress Sienna Miller, PR guru Max Clifford, and model Abi Titmuss also listed as core participants.
Football agent Sky Andrew, Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati and Christopher Shipman, son of mass murderer Harold Shipman, also made the list.
Lesser-known figures include intellectual property expert Mary-Ellen Field and Ian Hurst, a former British Army intelligence officer.
The inquiry would not be complete without involvement from media groups and core participation status was given to News International Group Ltd (owner of the the News of the World, the Sun, The Times and Sunday Times), Northern and Shell Network (owner of the Express and Star titles), Guardian News and Media (publishing company for the Guardian and Observer) and Associated Newspapers (for the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday).
The Metropolitan Police was also given the status.