21 July 2011 1:30 PM

Nice little earner

Among David Cameron's mea culpa on Andy Coulson and repeated questions about what was or wasn't said to the Murdochs or Rebekah Brooks about BSkyB, the PM unveiled the panel of the Leveson Inquiry yesterday.

It seems the experts (Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti; former Daily Telegraph and Press Association journalist George Jones; Elinor Goodman, ex-political editor for Channel 4 News; former Financial Times chairman Sir David Bell; former Ofcom chairman Lord David Currie; and Sir Paul Scott-Lee, former chief constable of West Midlands Police) may well be on to a good thing.

ESP can reveal they will be able to claim £565 a day for their work, plus "reasonable travel costs". Apparently this is the same amount as those on the detainees inquiry.

So even if they only do one day a week, that's £29,380 for the year. A five-day week puts it closer to £150,000 a year.

A spokesman for the inquiry vows it will be "transparent" about how much is paid, and that just because the sums are available doesn't mean panel members will claim them.

The Government will also reimburse the Royal Courts of justice for Lord Justice Leveson’s salary.

These probes have a habit of rumbling on at great expense. And let's not forget, Cameron pledged an end to costly-open ended inquiries.

But it's nice work if you can get it.

Craig Woodhouse
Follow me on Twitter @craigawoodhouse


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