Tessa Jowell told her phone was hacked 'wholesale'

 

The former cabinet minister Tessa Jowell has been told by police that her mobile phone was hacked "wholesale" by the News of the World and is preparing to settle her damages claim against the defunct title out of court.

Ms Jowell told The Independent she was informed by officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Weeting, the investigation into voicemail interception, that her phone was targeted "very extensively" during the time that her estranged husband, David Mills, was mired in controversy about his links to the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The senior Labour politician said she had received an apology from Rupert Murdoch's News International and expected her High Court civil lawsuit against the company to be settled out of court by the end of this month. Ms Jowell also said she will give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in the new year.

She said: "I was very extensively hacked – 'wholesale' as it was put to me. It was quite clear it was wholesale as there were things no one else should have known. It makes you feel like you're going mad. It made me feel like I couldn't trust anyone at the time."

The revelation of the extent to which Ms Jowell was targeted by the NOTW came as it emerged that her cabinet colleague David Blunkett, a former home secretary, has accepted a settlement from NI for an undisclosed but "substantial" sum following hacking of his phone. Mr Blunkett resigned as home secretary in 2004 after the NOTW published details of his affair with Kimberly Fortier. Mr Blunkett declined to comment on the settlement. A spokeswoman said: "Protecting his private life involves not answering questions which are entirely his business."

Ms Jowell and her husband became the subjects of intensive media scrutiny in 2006 when allegations were made against Mr Mills that he had accepted a £350,000 bribe from Mr Berlusconi, which was used partly to pay off the mortgage on the couple's London home. Ms Jowell was cleared of any wrongdoing and charges against her husband were dropped because of Italy's statute of limitations. Ms Jowell said she did not rule out an eventual rapprochement with Mr Mills. She said: "He has his house, I have my house. I visit him. We have a family. We'll see."

Scotland Yard confirmed over the weekend that the total number of phone-hacking victims will be about 800. The figure means that NI is likely to face a huge bill for civil damages claims, but also reveals that police believe substantially fewer than the 5,795 individuals identified in material seized from the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire actually had their voicemails intercepted.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers said officers had contacted 2,037 people, of whom 803 were victims or likely targets for hacking. She said: "We are confident we have contacted all the people who have been hacked."

Suggested Topics
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
people

Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into conflicts
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'
film

"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier

Arts and Entertainment
Liam and Zayn of One Direction play with a chimpanzee on the set of their new video for 'Steal My Girl'
music

Animal welfare charities have urged the boy band to cut the scenes

News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
News
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin married in Venice yesterday
peopleAmal and George Clooney 'planning third celebration in England'
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley at the premiere of Laggie at Toronto Film Festival 2014
theatreActress 'to make Broadway debut'
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Sport
Erik Lamela celebrates his goal
football

Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here

Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker