News International chief executive and former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks faces police questioning over allegations of illegal news gathering at the Sunday tabloid, according to The Guardian.
The paper also reports that, following an earlier inquiry by Scotland Yard in 2004, police were so concerned by Brooks’ admission to the Commons culture committee that payments had been made to police officers that it tapped her phone.
Today’s report also alleges junior reporters were used as couriers to carry cash to police officers, and that a Passport Office employee was sent payments in exchange for handing over personal details from internal files.
Yesterday Brooks denied having any knowledge of police bribes following a request from MPs to expand on her earlier admission.
Yesterday’s Evening Standard, meanwhile, reported that the News of the World had secretly with another phone-hacking victim – PFA lawyer John Hewison.
Hewison is the fourth named person with whom the News of the World has settled, following agreements with Max Clifford, PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, and Jo Armstrong, a legal advisor to Taylor.
The Sunday tabloid is now facing 24 active civil claims.
The Times reports that the paper yesterday wrote to a further nine potential phone-hacking victims (paywall protected) including comedian Steve Coogan, MP George Galloway, ex-footballer Paul Gasgoine and actress Leslie Ash.
The others include the jockey Keiren Fallon, former FA executive David Davies, former model Elle Macpherson, her PA Mary-Ellen Field and actor Jude Law’s PA Ben Jackson.
Charlotte Harris, a lawyer who represents several people pursuing claims against the paper, claims there could be up to 7,000 phone-hacking victims.