British police say they will not be reopening an investigation into an illegal phone tapping operation allegedly launched by the News of the World newspaper.
The tabloid’s reporters are accused of paying private investigators to hack phones of high profile figures, including ex-Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and singer George Michael. Despite those claims, Scotland Yard said no fresh evidence had come to light since the first case was opened four years ago. ‘‘Our inquiries show that in the vast majority of cases there was insufficient evidence to show that tapping had actually been achieved. Where there was clear evidence that people had been the potential subject of tapping, they were all contacted by police,’‘ said Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates. Tory leader David Cameron has been under pressure to sack his Director of Communications, Andy Coulson. Coulson resigned as editor of the Sunday tabloid at the time of the original inquiry. ‘‘It is wrong for newspapers to breach people’s privacy without justification. I mean that is why, after all, Andy Coulson resigned from the News of the World two and a half years ago. Of course, I knew about that resignation when I gave him a job but I believe in giving people a second chance,’‘ David Cameron said. Despite the police decision the paper and its owner, News International, face three separate inquiries. In addition, the media empire may have to confront fresh legal action from victims of the alleged phone hacking.