At least 11 former News of the World journalists were said in October to be working on a new unspecified digital project.
The new digital operation has the working title Project 222, a reference to the fact that the team is based at 222 Gray's Inn Road, which is also the home of the Times Literary Supplement.
Former News of the World executive picture editor Paul Ashton is among those working on the project.
Speculation that the launch of a new title is imminent was fuelled by news of a request sent out to picture agencies yesterday asking that Project 222 have permission to use work syndicated by IDS – a portal which allows photographers to syndicate images around the world.
Paul Ashton is the contact given to users of IDS. Use of the service will give the new project access to extensive celebrity images.
One well-placed agency source speculated that the move signalled the imminent launch of a Sunday edition of The Sun. Another insisted that it was a smoke-screen in order to get key staff in place for a Sunday Sun launch in March.
But News International sources insist this is wide of the mark.
The current company response to any questions about the launch of a new Sunday title to replace the News of the World is: 'There are no current plans to launch a Sun on Sunday."
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