The Leveson Inquiry has cost the taxpayer almost £2m in its first six months -- including more than £600,000 in legal fees.
According to official figures it cost £1,992,600 to run the inquiry from mid-July to 31 January.
The single biggest expense was operating costs, which came to £682,100, but this was closely followed by payouts to lawyers, with counsel to the inquiry - including Robert Jay QC and Carine Patry Hoskins - pocketing £536,100.
A further £89,500 went to barristers providing assistance to counsel to the inquiry.
A total of £67,500 was spent on remuneration for the inquiry's panel of assessors, though it emerged that two of the six-strong team - Liberty director of human rights Shami Chakrabarti and ex-Ofcom chairman Lord Currie - have waived their right to claim fees or expenses for the duration of the inquiry.