Phone hacking was widely known about at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World paper, according to a reporter blamed as the sole culprit.
He says it was openly discussed until the then editor Andy Coulson banned references to it.
The claims surface in a letter written four years ago by Clive Goodman, the now defunct tabloid’s ex-royal editor, who was jailed for phone hacking. It begs fresh questions of Coulson, who was later employed as Prime Minister David Cameron’s communications chief.
“I think people would want to form their own judgement of whether David Cameron did the right thing by hiring Andy Coulson,” said opposition Labour Member of Parliament Tom Watson. “He has said that if the evidence is provided that showed that Andy Coulson knew about phone-hacking then he will apologise to parliament and to the nation and the letter does seem to say that, so I am pretty sure that he will want to go on the record and respond to the letter in the next week or two.”
Coulson has denied knowing that phone hacking was taking place while he was editor. But for his ex-boss, still riding the storm of England’s recent riots, the resurgence of this scandal could prove deeply damaging.