Relatives of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler today called on Rebekah Brooks to "do the honourable thing" and quit.
They urged the News International chief executive to leave her post as lawyers claimed Surrey Police knew about Milly's phone being hacked almost a decade before relatives found out.
Speaking after a Whitehall meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, family lawyer Mark Lewis said his clients "take the view that Rebekah Brooks should do the honourable thing".
"They don't see why she should stay in the job," he added. "They see this as something that went right to the top.
"She was editor of the News of the World at the time that Milly was taken in 2002. She should take editorial responsibility."
Both Mr Lewis and former Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick said Surrey Police should have told the Dowler family that they may have been targeted.
He told the press conference: "Apparently Surrey Police knew at the time that the phone was being hacked into. Why they didn't tell the family at all... is a matter for Surrey Police to answer. What it does show is that this relationship between the police and the press is not restricted to the Metropolitan Police."
Ms Brooks - who was editor at the time of Milly's disappearance - has volunteered to speak to police over the wider phone hacking scandal, a News International source said.
Police were unable to confirm the claim that she is expected to speak to Scotland Yard detectives as soon as next week.
Ms Brooks is one of "several" executives who have come forward to offer their help to Scotland Yard, the source added.Reuse content