Scotland Yard has a fresh investigation into tabloid phone hacking after receiving “significant new information”.
Police said the new material was linked to allegations about the activities of staff at the News of the World in 2005 and 2006.
The inquiry is being moved from the Metropolitan Police counter terrorism command, and will now be led by deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers at the specialist crime directorate.
The move was necessary because of the counter terrorism workload and continuing “severe” level of threat, said a Scotland Yard spokesman.
“The Metropolitan Police has today received significant new information relating to allegations of phone hacking at the News of The World in 2005/06. As a result, the Met is launching a new investigation to consider this material,” he said.
“This work will be carried out by the specialist crime directorate which has been investigating a related phone hacking allegation since September 2010.
“Discussions have taken place with the director of public prosecutions in relation to the recently announced role of Alison Levitt QC.
“It has been agreed that her task will continue and she will evaluate any new evidence and advise as to the progress of the investigation.
“The original phone hacking investigation was undertaken by the counter terrorism command in specialist operations.
“However, in view of their current workload and the continuing ‘severe’ threat level, it has been agreed that it is no longer appropriate to divert them or acting deputy commissioner John Yates from their main duties and responsibilities.
“Accordingly, this new investigation will be led by deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers from the specialist crime directorate. We will not be making any further comments at this stage.”