The phone hacking scandal in the UK is heating up, as Rupert Murdoch’s News Of The World fires an assistant editor:
5.21pm: And here it is, the statement from News International about Ian Edmondson.
The News of the World has terminated the employment of Ian Edmondson, Assistant Editor (News).
Mr Edmondson was suspended in December 2010 following a serious allegation. Material evidence found during the course of the subsequent investigation has led to Mr Edmondson’s dismissal. News International has informed the police, handed over the material it has found and will give its full cooperation going forward.
News International reiterates that it will take swift and decisive action when we have proof of wrongdoing.
Also, Scotland Yard is looking in:
4.30pm: Scotland Yard has launched a fresh investigation into the phone hacking scandal today after receiving “significant new information”. Police said the new material is linked to allegations about the activities of staff at the News of the World in 2005 and 2006.
Meanwhile, it is understood that the News of the World has sacked Ian Edmondson, the assistant editor (news). Edmondson was the no 3 at the paper and was appointed by former editor Andy Coulson, who resigned as Downing Street’s director of communications last week.
This is the statement from Scotland Yard:
The Met has today received significant new information relating to allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World in 2005/06. As a result, the Met is launching a new investigation to consider this material.
This work will be carried out by the specialist crime directorate which has been investigating a related phone hacking allegation since September 2010.
Discussions have taken place with the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the recently announced role of Alison Levitt QC.
It has been agreed that her task will continue and she will evaluate any new evidence and advise as to the progress of the investigation.
The original phone hacking investigation was undertaken by the counter terrorism command in specialist operations.
However, in view of their current workload and the continuing ‘severe’ threat level, it has been agreed that it is no longer appropriate to divert them or Acting Deputy Commissioner John Yates from their main duties and responsibilities.
Accordingly, this new investigation will be led by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers from the specialist crime directorate. We will not be making any further comments at this stage.