Phone hacking: another NOTW journalist held

One of Rupert Murdoch's most senior and longest-serving journalists was arrested and questioned by detectives yesterday as police stepped up their inquiry into allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World.

As senior reporter James Weatherup was held at a London police station, detectives reportedly searched the NOTW offices at News International's headquarters in Wapping, east London. The newspaper's journalists repaired to a nearby pub, according to colleagues.

Mr Weatherup is the third senior NOTW figure to be arrested as part of Operation Weeting, the new Scotland Yard investigation into the paper's alleged interception of voicemail messages, launched four months ago after Britain's biggest newspaper company passed new evidence to police.

Neville Thurlbeck, 50, the NOTW's chief reporter, and former assistant editor Ian Edmondson, 42 – who was sacked around the turn of the year after the new evidence emerged – were arrested and released on police bail last week. Both are thought to deny involvement in hacking.

Three days after their arrest, on Friday, News International (NI) admitted wrongdoing at its top-selling title, spoke of its "sincere regret" and offered to set up a multi-million-pound fund to compensate eight high-profile victims with "justifiable claims", including the actress Sienna Miller, former culture secretary Tessa Jowell and football pundit Andy Gray. This week it emerged that NI will admit liability in a further nine civil cases.

The arrests further underline the Metropolitan Police's determination to investigate the scandal after criticism of an earlier inquiry by Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman, which led to the jailing of NOTW royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in 2006, but which a Commons committee described as inadequate.

When counter-terrorism officers searched Mulcaire's home five years ago, they found 4,332 names, 2,978 mobile phone numbers and 91 PIN codes, but interviewed only one journalist, Goodman, and later insisted there had been only a handful of victims.

Mr Weatherup, 55, is a particularly high-ranking journalist at the newspaper, having worked as a reporter for 25 years. He served as a news editor between 2004 and 2006 – the period for which NI now admits hacking took place, later becoming a senior reporter.

His posts have included reporter, chief reporter, deputy news editor and news editor of The People and News of the World, according to his LinkedIn site. He wrote: "As well as breaking exclusive stories, managing huge budgets, I also advised stars on PR and media-related matters."

A police spokesman said a 55-year-old man had been arrested at 8am and taken to a London police station.

"The Operation Weeting team is conducting the new investigation into phone-hacking," he said.

"It would be inappropriate to discuss any further details regarding this case at this time."

Mr Weatherup was reported to have been bailed until September.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes