Scotland Yard is believed to have committed six officers to comb through the mass of evidence it holds on the private detective Jonathan Rees.
The Yard revealed it was conducting a "formal assessment exercise" into allegations that Rees mounted illicit surveillance on public figures for Rupert Murdoch's News International and for the Mirror Group.
The project involves assessing 750,000 pages of evidence about Rees amassed during five police inquiries. Among the allegations is one that Rees hacked into a computer belonging to Kevin Fulton, a former intelligence officer who handled the IRA informer known as Stakeknife. Mr Fulton wrote to the Met requesting an investigation on 11 April. Rees is also said to have targeted Tony Blair and Kate Middleton, among others.
On Wednesday, the Labour MP Tom Watson told the House of Commons that "powerful forces" were involved in a cover-up. The same day, a detective inspector at the Yard wrote to Mr Fulton disclosing the scoping exercise codenamed Operation Tuleta.
The officer wrote: "As a result of the new enquiry being conducted by the MPS into the unlawful interception of voicemail messages and the various court actions relating to News International, the MPS has received a large number of enquiries and allegations relating to access to private data that are broader than voicemail interception."Reuse content