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Phone hacking scandal enters Cameron’s circle

Prime Minister’s aide to be interviewed in News of the World phone tapping investigation.

Andy Coulson, one of Cameron's senior aides, on the phone in July, 2010.
Andy Coulson, one of Cameron's senior aides, on the phone in July, 2010.
Image: Max Nash/PA Wire/Press Association Images

ONE OF DAVID CAMERON’S most senior aides is to be interviewed by police investigating the News of the World phone-hacking allegations.

Andy Coulson was the editor of the paper at the time of the alleged hacks, and is currently Downing Street’s communications director.

Up to a dozen high-profile persons have been contacted by police over concerns that their phones were being tapped, the Telegraph reports.

The Guardian claims that Ruport Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers, which owns the News of the World, has paid out £1m “to gag phone-hacking victims”.

An article published in the New York Times last week claimed that members of the British royal family became suspicious that someone was snooping on their private conversations in 2005, and by early January 2006, police had confirmed their fears.

The article claims the police followed “an unambiguous trail” to a News of the World reporter, but writes that other people whose phones were being hacked are only now finding out about it.

The reporter, Clive Goodman, and a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, were jailed in 2007 for hacking the phone messages of royal aides.

The BBC has produced this Q&A feature on the phone scandal, saying that the other hacking victims may have included Nigella Lawson, Boris Johnson, George Michael, Elle Macpherson, and then-Deputy PM Lord Prescott.

The inquiry into the extent of the hacking was dropped last year, but was renewed again earlier. The police have said they will reopen the investigation.

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