Prosecutors review phone-hacking claims

Prosecutors are to look again at claims of alleged phone hacking by the News of the World, it was announced tonight.

Keir Starmer QC, the director of public prosecutions, said he had ordered an "urgent examination" of material provided by the police three years ago.



The annoucement came as police said they would not be mounting a new investigation into claims thousands of public figures had their phones hacked.





Mr Starmer said he wanted to reassure himself and the public that "appropriate actions" were taken over the material.

He said he expected to make a further statement on the allegations in "coming days".



He added: "I have no reason to consider that there was anything inappropriate in the prosecutions that were undertaken in this case.



"In the light of the fresh allegations that have been made, some preliminary inquiries have been undertaken and I have now ordered an urgent examination of the material that was supplied to the CPS by the police three years ago.



"I am taking this action to satisfy myself and assure the public that the appropriate actions were taken in relation to that material.



"Given the nature of the offences, the amount of material is, of course, extensive and complex, but it has all been located and a small team is now rapidly working through it.



"This process will need to be thorough, so it will necessarily take some time.



"I am only too aware of the need for urgency and I will issue a further statement as soon as this work has been completed.



"I anticipate being in a position to do so in coming days."





Earlier, Scotland Yard ruled out a fresh probe into the allegations, after new claims were made in The Guardian newspaper today.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates said police had seen no additional evidence since its last investigation, which ended with the jailing of News of the World royal reporter Clive Goodman in 2007.



Mr Yates also said detectives had found no evidence that former deputy prime minister John Prescott's phone was tapped.



But he said police would now inform any potential victims that their phone may have been hacked where there was any suspicion.



He said: "No additional evidence has come to light since this case has concluded.



"I therefore consider that no further investigation is required.



"However, I do recognise the very real concerns, expressed today by a number of people, who believe that their privacy may have been intruded upon.



"I therefore need to ensure that we have been diligent, reasonable and sensible, and taken all proper steps to ensure that where we have evidence that people have been the subject of any form of phone tapping, or that there is any suspicion that they might have been, that they have been informed."



Goodman was jailed for four months and private investigator Glen Mulcaire for six months after they were found guilty of phone hacking.

The scandal led to the resignation of then News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who is now the Tories' PR chief.



Conservative leader David Cameron has defended his director of communications as Labour MPs lined up to demand his sacking.



The cross-party Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee announced this morning that it was reopening an inquiry it held after Goodman was jailed.



The committee's chairman, Tory MP John Whittingdale, said it would be asking former News International chief Les Hinton whether he wished to amend his previous assertion that no other journalists knew of Mr Goodman's activities.



He said the committee may also call Mr Coulson to give evidence, among several present and former News International executives.



Those allegedly targeted by the News of the World included former deputy prime minister John Prescott, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and celebrities including actress Gwyneth Paltrow and celebrity chef Nigella Lawson.



Mr Yates said the inquiry had not uncovered any evidence to suggest that Mr Prescott's phone had been tapped.

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

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence