'Hundreds' of mobiles hacked by newspaper

The row over mobile phone voicemail intercepts by the News of the World is likely to flare up again with a claim today that well over 100 people have had their private accounts hacked.

Mobile phone companies have apparently identified at least 120 customers who have had their voicemails intercepted by a reporter and a private investigator from the newspaper, according to a report in The Guardian today.

The true number could be even higher because the records only cover some of the time the voicemails were being accessed illicitly. Both the newspaper and the police have previously spoken of just "a handful" of intercepts.

Clive Goodman, the paper's royal correspondent, and Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator, were both jailed for their roles in the scandal. The information they gleaned helped the paper break several exclusive stories.

Three years ago police passed on numbers used by the pair to Orange, Vodafone and O2, which used them to identify customers whose voicemail security had been compromised. Prince William and Prince Harry were the highest-profile victims but others included Boris Johnson during his time as a Tory opposition spokesman, and Tessa Jowell when she was Media Secretary.